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Coronavirus | Contingency plans in place, says Gen Naravane

COVID-19 will not affect core efficiency of Army, he says

The Army has responsive and agile Quick Reaction Medical Teams (QRMTs) on standby to mobilise at six hours notice to meet the requirements of hospitals and the civil administration if needed, Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Manoj Naravane said on Friday.

Outlining the plans to meet any escalation in Coronavirus infections across the country, he said contingency plans were in place and spread of COVID-19 would not affect the core efficiency of the Army.

“All Field Hospitals have been instructed to be ready to set up a 45-bed isolation facility and create 10 bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facility exclusively for COVID-19 at six hours notice. Vacant Key Location Point (KLP) and existing infrastructure are earmarked for the same,” he said. In addition, 30% Field Hospitals have been kept on standby for constructing COVID-19 hospitals in Coronavirus hotspots.

“At present COVID-19 is in the ‘preparatory stage of impact in India’ and we are making concerted efforts to prevent it from establishing a firm base. Next few weeks will be crucial to prevent its negative effects,” he said.

On the possible contingency options that may arise as cases continue to rise, Gen. Naravane said that at this juncture it was difficult to say how the situation would develop. “However, after having analysed the impact of COVID-19 over last two-three months in other countries, one can start planning and preparing for difficult times.”

On the Army’s operational preparedness, he said it had certain “inherent capability” to rise up to various emergency situations by virtue of organisational structure and training and in keeping with that, the “Indian Army is planning and preparing to fight COVID-19.”

Daily review

Gen. Naravane stated that he was reviewing the situation on a daily basis. Various advisories and instructions have been issued to the force to create awareness and contain the spread of COVID-19. “Command-wise COVID-19 helpline numbers have also been given. Overall, I am satisfied with the planning and preparations undertaken by the Indian Army so far.”

The Army currently had wellness centres for evacuees at Manesar, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur and the medical facilities at Jhansi, Binnaguri and Gaya have been kept on standby with an additional collective capacity of 1600 beds. Till now, 372 evacuees have been treated at Manesar and 82 were under quarantine. In Jaisalmer, 484 citizens, who were evacuated from Iran, were under quarantine and another 277 in Jodhpur, he added.



News Courtesy: The Hindu

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