Coordinating efforts of the military in controlling COVID-19 spread, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat has said that at this juncture, the uniformed force needs to extend all type of assistance ranging from creating quarantine infrastructure to providing specialist care to help the nation combat Coronavirus.
Speaking to ANI, the Chief of Defence Staff said the time has come when the armed forces will have to operate beyond their mandate in this battle against the novel coronavirus and the defence personnel should be ready for the challenge.
"Uniformed forces are expected to support the government and provide every type of assistance from developing infrastructure for isolation and quarantine to preparing speciality medical care centres for those who need immediate care," the CDS said.
Prompting the defence forces to prepare for the challenge, he added, "At this juncture, it is time for the uniformed services to operate beyond their mandate." Gen Rawat stressed that the overall coordinated effort by all the government agencies to contain COVID-19 would succeed only if the people follow the instructions that are being sent out from time to time.
"The Armed Forces have already issued instructions to all the ranks and families to strictly follow those instructions," he said. The CDS, who is also the Secretary, Department of Military Affairs, has been attending the meetings with the Cabinet Secretary and other top government functionaries, has been coordinating with the three defence forces for quarantine of people being evacuated from abroad.
Around 1500 people brought back from Italy, Iran, China and Southeast Asian countries have been quarantined by the forces at places such as Gurugram, Jaisalmer, Mumbai, and Hindan. Over 15 facilities have also been created where the evacuees are being made to spend their quarantine time.