Paramilitary forces can arrange beds in Covid-19 emergency: Officials

The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) had on March 23 asked the paramilitary forces, also called Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), to provide a list of their 32 “composite hospitals”.
MHA asked paramilitary forces to make adequate arrangements for isolation facilities(Representational image)
MHA asked paramilitary forces to make adequate arrangements for isolation facilities(Representational image)
Updated on Mar 26, 2020 06:03 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent, New Delhi

Five central paramilitary forces such as the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) have a combined strength of 7,500 hospital beds, where Covid-19 patients can be treated as a contingency measure if the country faces a surge of positive cases, officials told HT.

The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) had on March 23 asked the paramilitary forces, also called Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), to provide a list of their 32 “composite hospitals” -- located across the country -- for Covid-19 patients and also ordered them on March 9 to make adequate arrangements for isolation facilities.

These composite hospitals and isolation facilities are located in Delhi, Greater Noida, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Jammu, Tekanpur in Gwalior, Imphal, Dimapur, Nagpur, Silchar, Bhopal, Kolkata, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Jaipur among other areas. One of the biggest facilities of the forces is ITBP’s Chhawla Camp in Delhi, where several batches of evacuees, who arrived from different Covid-19-affected countries such as China and Iran, have been treated since early February.

A CRPF officer, who didn’t wish to be quoted, said, “We have arranged around 2,000 beds for quarantine in several locations, and more may be arranged. The medical staff in our camps has been sanitised and necessary equipment and masks are in place.”

The Centre is also making arrangements for specialist doctors and medical tools such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) as many of these forces’ facilities are not equipped with adequate medical staff.

The forces have already been told that contingency measures should be in place for troops or their family members already admitted to these facilities be shifted to another location if there is a spurt in the number of Covid-19 patients.

The CAPFs are holding their key meetings via video-conferencing, convoy movements have been halted in sensitive areas such as Jammu & Kashmir and troops have been asked to stay put in their respective bases.

The government had last week ordered the forces to go into a battle mode to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, which has claimed 20,000 lives across the world.

The rotational deployment of paramilitary troops at the United Nations’ missions has also been put off for now.

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Monday, November 29, 2021