New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday urged the armed forces and public service undertakings to gear up in their preparations and extend all required assistance to the civilian authorities to fight coronavirus outbreak amid national lockdown.
Singh held a review meeting with senior officials of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on its action plan to deal with the situation.
The Minister lauded the proactive role played by the armed forces and various departments of MoD in evacuating Indian nationals as well as foreigners from COVID-19-affected countries and ensuring them proper care at various quarantine facilities.
Officials briefed Singh on various measures and assistance provided so far.
The Indian Air Force has made several sorties and evacuated Indian nationals from affected areas in China, Japan and Iran.
Various quarantine facilities of the armed forces have, so far, handled 1,462 evacuees and discharged 389 of them.
Currently, 1,073 persons are being cared for at the facilities in Manesar, Hindan, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, and Mumbai.
Additional quarantine facilities are on standby with 950-bed capacity.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories have manufactured 20,000 litres of sanitizer and supplied it to various organisations, including 10,000 litres to Delhi Police.
The DRDO has also supplied 10,000 masks to Delhi Police.
It is tying up with some private companies to make personal protection equipment such as body suits and ventilators.
The Ordnance Factory Board has also ramped up production of sanitizers, masks, and body suits.
Bharat Electronics Limited is also manufacturing ventilators.
Army medical teams deployed in the Maldives have since returned after completion of their mission.
Army medical teams and two Navy ships are on standby to provide required assistance to friendly countries in the neighbourhood.