April 29, 2021 8:09:42 pm
Various formations under the Western Naval Command have reserved oxygen beds for the civilian population and also launched relief efforts for migrants labourers at their respective stations. The Navy has also said it is prepared to offer any Covid-related assistance to the civil administration.
The daily spikes in Covid-19 cases across the country have overstretched medical facilities and resulted in shorate of oxygen-supported beds. Various institutions under the Ministry of Defence — including those of the tri-services and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) — have made available a proportion of their medical facilities to help civil administrations in handling the burden of increasing Covid-19 cases.
Three naval hospitals under the Western Naval Command — INHS (Indian Naval Hospital Ship) Jeevanti located in Goa, INHS Patanjali in Karwar and INHS Sandhani in Mumbai have kept ready a portion of oxygen beds for use by the civil administration, the Navy said on Thursday.
In Mumbai, facilities have also been set up inside naval premises to provide basic amenities to migrant labourers, who have been the group worst hit by the pandemic and resultant lockdowns.
“Naval authorities are also in regular communication with the civil administration and all preparatory actions have been stepped up to offer any Covid contingency assistance, if requested,” a press statement from the Navy said.
Naval authorities in Karwar have made arrangements for supporting at least 1,500 migrant labourers by providing them essential items, rations and basic healthcare. INHS Patanjali in Karwar, the first Armed Forces hospital to treat civilian Covid-19 positive patients last year, is prepared to receive civilian patients if there is emergent requirement, officials said.
The Naval teams in Goa had set up community kitchens during the first wave of Covid-19 and are now prepared to provide similar help as
and when required, officials said. Besides earmarking some Covid-19 oxygen beds for civilians at INHS Jeevanti, Headquarters Goa Naval Area is exploring provision of oxygen to civil hospitals based on any requests received from the civil administration.
Gujarat Naval Area has offered support to the civil administration to transport critical medical stores and equipment to Covid affected areas, setting up of community kitchens for the economically weaker sections and other technical help as may be required.
“Presently, all naval hospitals are catering to the vaccination of service personnel and their dependents and also defence civilians and their dependents as per MoH&FW guidelines. On completion of the 18 years and above age group beginning May 1, the feasibility of extending the vaccination facility to the civil population in the vicinity is being explored.”
INHS Asvini in Mumbai has readied composite teams for deployment at short notice, including medical and non-medical persons trained as Battle Field Nursing Assistants for staffing hospitals being set up for Covid care in different parts of the country under the direction of Director General, Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS).
“Even as the Command is geared up to offer all possible assistance to civil administration in tackling the Covid situation, the operational naval units continue to be mission-deployed towards ensuring security and stability in the maritime domain. In recent days, WNC units have participated in exercises with friendly navies such as the recently concluded ‘Varuna 21’ with the French Navy, undertaken Search and Rescue operations off Mangalore, successfully seized a large quantity of drugs being smuggled through the sea route and have remained deployed in anti-piracy patrols to provide assurance to Indian merchant vessels plying the Arabian Sea,” the press statement added.
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