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Armed forces recalling retired medics for Covid duty: CDS Gen Rawat tells PM Modi in meeting

General Rawat told PM Modi at the review meeting that all medical officers on staff appointments at the military headquarters will be deployed at hospitals.

All medical personnel of the armed forces who have retired or have taken pre-mature retirement in the last two years are being recalled to work in COVID-19 facilities within proximity of their present place of residence, the government said on Monday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the preparedness of the armed forces and operations undertaken by them to assist local authorities in the fight against Covid-19. The review was carried out in a meeting between the prime minister and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat.

While the Air Force has been transporting medical equipment, including oxygen tankers, both domestically and internationally, the Navy was sent to Lakshadweep as a part of Oxygen Express. The Armed Forces Medical Services has deputed its staff at the various exclusive Covid-19 facilities being set up by DRDO in Delhi, Varanasi and Lucknow among other cities.

PM Modi was also informed that all medical officers on staff appointments at Command, Corps and Division headquarters and similar headquarters of Navy and Air Force will be employed at hospitals.

Gen Bipin Rawat also informed the prime minister that nursing personnel are being employed in large numbers to complement doctors at the hospitals.

The Prime Minister also explored the possibility of using Kendriya and Rajya Sainik Welfare Boards and officers posted in various headquarters in veterans cells to coordinate the services of veterans to enhance the reach in various locations including remote areas.

Due to the intense pressure exerted by the Covid caseload, the country’s health infrastructure is on the verge of collapse. Severe shortages of hospital beds, medicines and medical oxygen have been reported in the worst-hit states.

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