New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS): Indian military doctors, paramedics and hospital staff are being vaccinated against the coronavirus disease across the country as inoculation drive kicked off on Saturday.
The beneficiaries — each are being given either of India’s two indigenous vaccines — Covaxin or Covishield. Every beneficiary will receive two doses of the same vaccine, 28 days apart.
The armed forces played a pivotal role in mitigating the sufferings of the people in the face of novel Coronavirus’ onslaught. Right from rescuing stranded Indians from Covid-19 affected areas, such as China, Iran, Italy, Malaysia, and others to providing relief materials to all across the country.
The armed forces have put in place all its medical and manpower resources.
Hospitals of the armed forces and medical facilities have been dedicated to treat Covid-19 patients and some of its bases were turned into quarantine centres.
Talking about efforts in the fight against Covid-19, Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh had said that the Navy, in fulfilling responsibilities to the nation and its citizens, turned into ‘Care-Givers’ during the pandemic.
“Naval aircraft contributed to transportation of samples and test equipment on numerous occasions. naval hospital facilities were made available to the civil administrations at various places to cater to the increased healthcare requirements. In support of the national effort against COVID, naval personnel also displayed innovation in manufacture of solutions like indigenised PPE, and healthcare equipment,” Admiral Singh had said.
The Navy undertook its largest ever non-combatant evacuation exercise under the aegis of Operation Samudra Setu, wherein, nearly 4,000 Indian nationals in Iran, Maldives and Sri Lanka were brought back home during the pandemic.
While the natural tendency is to look inwards in difficult times, the government and Indian Navy looked outwards, extending support and succour to friends and partners during the pandemic. Missions Sagar I and II, involving deployment of naval medical teams, medicines and humanitarian aid to friendly foreign countries across the Indian Ocean Region, received wide-spread recognition, reiterating India’s commitment to the region.
Prompt implementation of preventive measures across the Navy aided in minimising the disruptive impact of the pandemic on operational readiness.
Similarly, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane had said that Indian Army reached out and helped all the state governments and the citizens.
“To tackle this pandemic, we had opened number of quarantine camps, facilitated their treatment and their return to their respective homes once their quarantine period was over,” General Naravane said.
He pointed that yeoman service and the selfless devotion was put in by the medical fraternity. “For the last six months, they have been day in and day out treating the Covid patients in the services hospitals or the civilian facilities, without caring for their own health and safety,” Indian Army Chief had said.
The Indian Air Force carried out international effort towards Covid task. A goodwill flight to Wuhan in China was taken on C-17 employed to airlift 15 tons of medical supplies to China and to evacuate 112 Indian and foreign nationals to India on February 26 and February 27, 2020. Immediate evacuation of Indians from Iran was carried out by employing C-17 on March 10, 2020. The force has also evacuated 49 DRDO personnel (including 25 Covid-19 positive personnel) from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Vishakhapatanam on November 4, 2020.
The Indian Air Force supplied medical equipment and supplies to Male, Kuwait, Congo, South Sudan and other countries.
Besides the all-out efforts of armed forces, its various organisations and arms like Defence Research and Development Organisation, Defence Public Sector Undertakings, Ordnance Factory Board, Indian Coast Guard, Cantonment Boards, National Cadet Corps had contributed in their own ways to fight the pandemic.