277 People Evacuated From Coronavirus-Hit Iran Reach Army Facility In Jodhpur (Representative Image) (Photo Credit: Pixabay.com)
A batch of 277 people evacuated from coronavirus-hit Iran arrived at the Jodhpur airport in Rajasthan on Wednesday early morning, a defence spokesperson said. He said preliminary screening of the evacuees, mostly pilgrims, was conducted at the airport upon arrival and thereafter, they were taken to the Army Wellness Facility set up at the Jodhpur Military Station.
They were flown in from Iran, which has been severely affected by COVID-19. The Army, in coordination with Rajasthan medical authorities and the civil administration, has made adequate medical and administrative arrangements to ensure a comfortable stay for the evacuees and provide prophylactic medical support, he said.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Rohit Kumar Singh said 273 of the evacuees are pilgrims. He said among the people were 149 women and girls. The defence spokesperson said the facility has a dedicated team of Army doctors, who will be constantly monitoring the health parameters of the evacuees during their stay.
The Army at present is operating medical facilities for evacuees at Manesar, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur with evacuees from Iran, Italy and Malaysia occupying these. Evacuees from China's Wuhan and Japan have already been discharged after full protocol was observed, spokesperson Col Aman Anand said in a statement Of the over 1,200 evacuees, medical staff and air crew kept at these facilities till now, only one case of COVID-19 positive has been reported so for. This does not include another case reported from an IAF facility in Hindon.
In addition, Army medical facilities at Jhansi, Binnaguri and Gaya are being kept on standby with an additional collective capacity of 1,600 beds. More facilities are being kept at short notice. This does not include the additional capacity created and kept ready by the Air Force and the Navy, he said. In another statement, the Defence Ministry said the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has designated 285 beds for isolation wards in handling coronavirus cases.
"Forty beds have been earmarked in hospitals at the Vehicle Factory in Jabalpur, thirty beds each at the Metal and Steel Factory in Ishapore, the Gun and Shell Factory in Cossipore, the Ammunition Factory in Khadki, the Ordnance Factory in Kanpur, Ordnance Factory in Khamaria, Ordnance Factory in Ambajhari, 25 beds at Ordnance Factory in Ambernath and 20 beds each at the Heavy Vehicle Factory in Avadi and the Ordnance Factory, Medak," the statement said.
At the headquarters level, the Army called off the day for officers to review the situation and minimise exposure except for those involved in essential duties, Anand said.
"The global lock-down has affected and significantly reduced the office work be it international cooperation, training events, postings, courses, duty moves etc. Emergency staff including duty officials, medical fraternity, drivers, cooks and other support staff continued to work as hither to fore," he added.