The Indian Army has code-named its anti-COVID-19 campaign as Operation Namaste to help the government in its fight against the pandemic.

Key Points

  • Soldiers are advised to follow the lockdown, wherever they do not have any operational role, and stay fit. They are assured that their families will be well taken care of.
    • Leave extension of those on leave as well as curtailment of leave to bare minimum have been imposed.
    • Segregation facilities have been set up to observe troops already back from leave from various states.
  • So far six quarantine facilities at Manesar, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Chennai, Hindan and Mumbai have been established where 1,463 people evacuated from coronavirus-affected countries have been accommodated.
    • The forces are setting up more such facilities at Kolkata, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Dundigal, Bengaluru, Kanpur, Jaisalmer, Jorhat and Gorakhpur which can be ready within 72 hours, if needed.
  • 28 Armed Forces hospitals have been earmarked as COVID hospitals.
    • These hospitals will include armed forces patients as well as civilian patients transferred from state health authorities.
    • Five hospitals from the Army, Navy and the Air Force are conducting coronavirus tests using the RT-PCR methodology and more hospitals will be equipped soon with the resources.
    • 62 Cantonment Boards have been instructed to identify beds in hospitals and health centres and guesthouses for any eventuality.

Contributions by Other Forces

  • Recently, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) also came forward to help by developing ventilators and providing other medical equipment.
  • Indian Navy also contributed by delivering 60,000 face masks ordered by Indian Medical Association, Goa which were stuck in Delhi due to the lockdown.
    • Ilyushin 38 SD departed INS Hansa for Palam Airport, New Delhi and returned on the same day with the masks.

Ilyushin 38 Sea Dragon

  • Ilyushin 38 Sea Dragon (IL 38 SD) Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) aircrafts are currently in service with the Russian Navy and the Indian Navy.
  • These are maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircrafts designed by the Russia-based Ilyushin Aviation Complex.
  • In India, these are based at Goa and can be deployed in surveillance, search and rescue, maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare operations.

INS Hansa

  • INS Hansa is an Indian naval air station located near Dabolim in Goa.
  • It was commissioned in September 1961.
  • It serves as the Indian Navy's one of the largest air bases and has grown to become a full-fledged airfield that handles both domestic as well as international flights round the clock.

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Source: IE