Saturday, December 4, 2021

Defence forces ramp up efforts against COVID-19: OFB and DPSUs pressed in action

Extending all possible assistance to the nation in the fight against coronavirus, Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) are leaving no stone untouched in helping civil administration/state governments to cater to the needs of COVID-19 patients.

From setting up Covid hospitals to ramping up oxygen production, the armed forces are working tirelessly for COVID-19 relief.

“The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has been operating Covid medical facilities across 25 locations in the country. Ranging from Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Odisha and Uttarakhand,” the Defence Ministry informed in a statement.

Country’s main producer of military arsenal, the OFB has earmarked nearly 60% of its existing strength for Covid care including oxygen beds at their facilities. More than 813 beds out of a total of 1,405 are now reserved for Covid patients.

State-owned aerospace and defence company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been running a 180-bed COVID care centre with ICU, oxygen and ventilator support along with DPSUs prepared 250-bed COVID facility in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Additionally, to provide more ventilators and oxygen points at Lucknow Uttar Pradesh, work on a 250-bed COVID care facility has been started by HAL. The medical facility is expected to be operational in the first week of May. Further, State-run plane-maker HAL has operationalised a 70-bed facility in Odisha’s Koraput and a 40-bed hospital in Maharashtra’s Nasik to help state governments deal with the surge of COVID-19, the statement added.

Several DPSUs have also fast-tracked the procurement of oxygen plants to deliver to local government hospitals in different states under CSR. These include Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), BEML Limited, HAL, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Limited and MIDHANI.

Earlier on Saturday, defence minister Rajnath Singh asserted that the armed forces and the defence ministry “will leave no stone unturned in providing all possible assistance to the civilian administration.”

IAF and DRDO nursing the country back to health

Intensifying its efforts for Covid relief, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has started airlifting oxygen generation plants and containers to filling stations from different parts of the globe.

On Friday, IAF pressed its two big transport aircraft – C-17 and IL-76 – in action to airlift oxygen tankers to the filling stations across the country to ramp up the distribution of oxygen cylinders.

Defence Research and Development organisation is also among the organisations that are at the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The military’s research department has so far set-up various state-of-the-art Covid hospitals in six cities throughout the nation to treat critical patients.

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