Retired Army doctors recalled to treat COVID patients

Prime Minister Modi met Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat to review Armed Forces’s preparedness in this time of crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday (April 26). Pic: PIB

The Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday (April 26) called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inform him that all medical personnel from Armed Forces, who have retired or taken pre-mature retirement in the last two years, are being recalled to work in COVID facilities.

Besides, other medical officers who retired earlier have also been requested to make their services available for consultation through medical emergency helpline.

Modi reviewed preparedness of the Armed Forces and operations undertaken by them to assist local authorities in the fight against COVID-19.

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General Bipin Rawat told the PM that all medical officers on staff appointments at Command headquarters, Corps headquarters, Division headquarters and similar headquarters of Navy and Air-Force will be employed at hospitals to support health workers treating COVID patients.

Besides, nursing personnel are being employed in large numbers to complement the doctors at the hospitals. Rawat said that oxygen cylinders available with Armed Forces in various establishments will be released for hospitals.

The Chief of Defence Staff said the Armed Forces are creating medical facilities in large numbers and where possible military medical infrastructure will be made available to civilians.

Also read: Why does India need a Chief of Defence Staff?

PM Modi also reviewed the operations being undertaken by IAF to transport oxygen and other essentials in India and abroad.

The Chief of Defence Staff said that Kendriya and Rajya Sainik Welfare Boards and Officers posted in various headquarters in veterans cells may be instructed to coordinate the services of veterans to extend the reach to maximum extent possible including in remote areas.

Also read: Pichai, ‘heartbroken’ Nadella pledge to help India in COVID fight

Steel plants step in to enhance oxygen supply

Steel Plants in public and private Sector supplied 3131.84 metric tonnes of Liquid Medical oxygen (LMO) to various states on April  25 9Sunday), as compared to 2,894 tonnes dispatched on the previous day. A week earlier, on an average 1500/1700 metric tonnes /day was being dispatched.

Steel plants have enhanced oxygen supply by reducing the production of nitrogen and argon and only focusing on Liquid Medical oxygen.

The steel plants are normally required to keep 3.5 days of safety stock of LMO in their storage tanks which is vaporized and used in case some problem develops in the oxygen plants. Through continuous engagement with the steel producers, the safety stock has been reduced to 0.5 days instead of the earlier 3.5 days because of which LMO supply had significantly increased.

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