Count on them under any eventuality!
By: M S Nazki
When the civil administration and health care has been sent for a toss by Covid 19 it is the Indian Army that has come to the rescue of the Nation as the people struggle to survive!
- With the healthcare system in India pummeled no end, it’s Indian Army that has been called into action suddenly and things are looking brighter with hospitals coming up everywhere for the people.
Ever since last year when this virus invaded the human habitat and began its destruction mechanism one thing at least I learnt. There was no point fighting it out because the match up would have been one way traffic with the virus winning it hands down with one drop dead punch on the human face. I thought, what to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can’t move, with no hope of rescue. Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won’t be troubling you much longer. So the better way is not to panic but just work your way out of the predicament. If you hurry you will hurt yourself. You know how sometimes you tell yourself that you have a choice, but really you don’t have a choice? Just because there are alternatives doesn’t mean they apply to you. That is where the virus has left a human being. There is no doubt that people are recovering as per the available data but still the situation is woeful in the already devastated healthcare system of India!
I will start this story with a tale on the art of survival. It is a story of a man who is almost touching eighty years of age and fighting had been his forte all throughout. By fighting I do not mean the physical aspects but the mental ones where spirit matters. Till last year the man was hail and hearty and fit as a fiddle but then suddenly one day during the lock down he began feeling restlessness in the chest which triggered off breathlessness. His son within no time got him tested for Covid but the test came out to be negative. Anyway he was admitted in Narayana Hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. After a few days of treatment the man recovered and was brought back home. The relief was temporary and once again he had to be treated in a similar fashion. But now comes the third time when things are bad in the second wave. He could not get admission in Narayana because of lack of beds and thus had to be moved to army hospital Udhampur where he is getting treated. But had this facility not been created now for emergency times, then what would have happened? Anything in fact everything was possible on either side of the see-saw of life and death!
Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it. Indian Army imbibes that confidence in an individual. A mere touch by men fighting your health battle is enough to lift your spirits.
The Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force have pitched in their resources to help the country as it continues to grapple with a massive Covid-19 crisis. With the forces joining is the huge life saving operations the fight against the virus has yet again begun with a renewed vigor. Some aspects that have been worked upon:
- Importing oxygen generation plants and containers from Germany to cater to the shortage, military hospitals’ infrastructure being ramped up to handle the mounting cases, doctors and medical staff of the forces being deployed to cities reporting a surge in cases and oxygen cylinders and essential medicines being transported to Delhi, which is reeling under a massive shortage of these essential items.
- Enhancing capacity at the Base Hospital, Delhi (BHDC).
- The 500-bed BHDC has been converted into an exclusive Covid care hospital to handle rising cases. All other cases of medical emergencies are being treated at the Army R R hospital.
- As on date, there are 258 oxygenated beds which are fully occupied. The number of these oxygenated beds has been greatly enhanced in the last few days. Oxygenated bed availability is dynamic depending on discharge of patients and reporting of new patients.
- Defence sources say concerted efforts are being made to increase the oxygenated beds and the capacity enhancement should materialise in a few days.
- Nearly 400-plus Covid positive cases with mild symptoms are in home isolation, who otherwise would have been admitted in BHDC.
- Moreover, 23 mobile oxygen generation plants are being airlifted from Germany to be deployed in AFMS hospitals catering to the Covid patients. These oxygen-generating plants are expected to reach within a week.
- All the 63 cantonment boards in the country have been told that hospitals run by them have to accommodate cantonment residents and those from outside approaching them for treatment, in coordination with district authorities or nodal officers for Covid management.
- Earlier, based on a formal request by Indian Railways, the Army had made available its critical rolling stock for transportation of oxygen-laden trucks to meet the requirements of the Covid hospitals across the country.
- The Indian Air Force (IAF), too, has been airlifting personnel, oxygen cylinders, regulators, trolleys and essential medicines. The IAF is moving doctors and nursing staff from Kochi, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru to the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) Covid hospital at Delhi.
- It is also transporting oxygen containers of DRDO from Bengaluru to Covid centres at Delhi.
- As reported the IAF’s transport fleet flew hundreds of sorties to carry hundreds of tonnes of medicine, ration and other essential supplies to various parts of the country. The IAF’s primary transport chopper, the MI-17 V5s, were put into action to transport swab samples for testing.
- Navy is in the process of assessing the number of Covid beds across naval hospitals that could be made available to the civil population, aside from serving personnel and veterans.
*The Navy is also providing doctors and medical staff in aid to civil authorities,” a source said. “Medical staff have been deployed at Patna, Delhi and Muzaffarpur already. They will also be deployed in other cities as and when required.
*The DRDO is also working on setting up three Covid facilities in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, aside from the one recently made operational in Delhi.
*The state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is also setting up two Covid facilities in UP’s Lucknow and Nashik in Maharashtra. HAL has already constructed a facility for the Karnataka government in Bengaluru.
- As part of the continued fight against COVID -19, IndianArmy Western Command put into operation a 100 bedded COVID hospital at Sector 25,
The virus is an enemy of humanity. It does not see as to who is who, who’s going to get killed, no matter which side you are, no matter in which strata or class you are in, if it infects and gets out of control then nothing is under your control and neither in doctor’s. Many who came out of the virus Venus fly trap say, we’d stared into the face of Death, and Death blinked first. You would think that would make us feel brave and invincible. It didn’t. It has scared us more. I will end by saying that it is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive or have survived but those who can best manage change. This is because the virus will change the way we live if it has not done already! Incidentally it has psyched out many of us no end!