Rajnath Singh asks armed forces to extend help to state govts in dealing with Covid | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh has asked the armed forces to extend assistance to state governments in dealing with the raging Covid pandemic, while directing defence PSUs, ordnance factories and DRDO to work on a war-footing to provide oxygen cylinders and extra beds to civil administrations at the earliest.
Reviewing the preparedness to deal with the second wave of Covid-19 at a meeting with the top military brass and secretaries on Tuesday, Singh also delegated emergency procurement powers to ensure critical needs in dealing with the pandemic are swiftly met.
DRDO chief Dr G Satheesh Reddy, on his part, said the earlier Covid-19 facility near the Delhi Airport has been made functional again, with the number of beds to be soon increased to 500 from the existing 250.
The ESIC Hospital, which was converted to Covid hospital in Patna, has started functioning with 500 beds, while work is on a war-footing to set up a 450-bed hospital in Lucknow, 750-bed hospital in Varanasi and 900-bed hospital in Ahmedabad, added Reddy.
The 15-lakh armed forces, in turn, will reach out to state chief ministers to offer whatever help is possible in dealing with the situation, including treatment of civilians in military hospitals. The 67 Cantonment Board hospitals will also ensure medical help to both cantonment residents as well as non-residents.
“The minister was briefed about the measures taken by the Armed Forces Medical Services, DRDO, defence PSUs, Ordnance Factory Board and other departments of the ministry such as NCC in providing aid to the civil administration in this hour of crisis,” said an official.
DRDO said that the technology for a 1000-litre per minute capacity oxygen generation plant, which is based on such a system developed for the indigenous Tejas fighter, has been given to the industry to cater for hospital requirements.
“The UP government has placed an order for five such plants. Dr Reddy also said SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) based supplemental oxygen delivery system developed for soldiers posted at extreme high-altitude areas can be used for Covid patients. The product will be available soon in the market from the industry as per technology provided by DRDO,” said the official.



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