Nitin Gokhale: Ministry of Defence has taken the lead in combating COVID-19 situation by quickly activating all its resources and manufacturing medical equipment etc. Give us some details on how this is helping the national effort.
Dr. Ajay Kumar: Armed Forces have always played a pivotal role in mitigating any national calamity plaguing the country from time to time. COVID-19 is a pandemic of extraordinary scale, affecting not only India but almost the whole of the world. To face this unprecedented challenge all the Ministries and Departments of Government of India are working to their optimum level to contain the adverse effects of COVID-19 and mitigate the sufferings of the people. As far as Ministry of Defence is concerned, right from rescuing stranded Indians from COVID-19 affected areas, such as China, Iran, Italy, Malaysia etc., to providing relief materials all across the country, Armed Forces have put in place all its medical and manpower resources. Force’s Hospitals and Medical Facilities have been dedicated to treating COVID-19 patients and some of its bases have been turned into quarantine centres.
Besides the all-out efforts of Armed Forces, its various organizations and arms viz. Armed Forces Medical Services, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Defence Public Sector Undertakings, Ordnance Factory Board, Indian Coast Guard, Cantonment Boards, National Cadet Corps are contributing in their own way to fight this pandemic. More and more ventilators, personal protection equipment (PPE), face shields, N99 & N95 masks, hand sanitizer and other disinfectants and protective gears are being manufactured stopping all the routine work.