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Covid-19: The armed forces take action in the battle against the pandemic | India News


NEW DELHI: From the installation of hospitals to the airlift of doctors, medical supplies and large containers of cryogenic oxygen, the country’s defense system and armed forces have once again jumped into action in the ongoing battle against the Covid pandemic -19.
With oxygen supplies depleting across the country, the IAF has deployed its C-17 Globemaster-III and IL-76 heavy lift aircraft to transport empty oxygen containers or tanker trucks from their place of use to oxygen plants. and service stations to avoid bottlenecks in transportation.
“With a view to making more tankers available for oxygen movement, the Home Office is also coordinating the lifting of high-capacity tankers from abroad, such as Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, by IAF transport aircraft. “an official said Friday.
Although the proposed airlift from abroad has yet to take off, two C-17s and an IL-76 aircraft carried empty Linde and Inox oxygen containers from Hindon to Panagarh in West Bengal on Thursday. Similarly, eight empty cryogenic containers were flown from Begumpet to Bhubaneshwar by C-17 on Friday, while another was flown from Indore to Jamnagar by the IAF.
After refueling, large containers or tanker trucks are returned to trains or highways. Air transport of loaded liquid oxygen tanker trucks is not taking place because it is potentially dangerous if the aircraft suddenly loses cabin pressure at high altitude, authorities said.
DRDO, together with the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS), has established the 500-bed Covid Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (SVP) hospital in New Delhi, and another 900-bed hospital was opened in Ahmedabad on Friday in collaboration with the government of Gujarat. .
“The SVP hospital has 161 doctors, including superspecialists and 217 paramedics. At the Dhanvantri Covid hospital in Ahmedabad, 150 beds have ventilators, while the remaining 750 also have oxygen. Similarly, a 450-bed hospital in Lucknow and a 750-bed hospital in Varanasi are also being installed, ”said an official.
As instructed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, the armed forces are in contact with state governments to provide assistance, while defense power supply units, artillery factories and the DRDO are working overtime to provide oxygen cylinders and additional beds to the civil administrations of the country.
Military hospitals across the country are also expanding their facilities to cope with the surge in Covid patients among serving and retired personnel. “The AFMS, for example, is importing 23 portable oxygen generation plants from Germany for its military hospitals. They are expected in a week, ”said another official.
“Each of these plants has the capacity to produce 40 liters of oxygen per minute and 2,400 liters per hour. At this rate, he can see 20-25 patients throughout the day, ”he added.
Rajanth Singh has also authorized the delegation of emergency financial powers to AFMS, amounting to 5 million rupees for general rank officers, 3 million rupees to major generals and 2 million rupees to brigadiers.
The Defense Ministry is also granting an extension to short-duty commissioned military doctors until December 31 to overcome the current pandemic. “This will increase the strength of AFMS by 238 additional physicians,” he added.

Times of India