COVID ? 19 : Indian Navy continues to intensify its bout against the pandemic outbreak

Sayan Chatterjee, New Delhi, March 27 To augment Nation’s fight against the severe spread of COVID-19, Indian Navy has been setting up Quarantine Camps and procedures, for a while now. The evacuated personnel in the camp were kept under close monitoring to ensure Social Distancing and under medical supervision in accordance with the protocols laid down by the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India by a team of naval personnel and medical professionals of the naval commands.

In recent, a Dornier aircraft of Indian Navy, with a team of four doctors from Goa State Health department, got airborne from INS Hansa to Pune on Wednesday. The medical team led by Dr Savio Rodrigues, HOD Microbiology, Goa Medical College, will undergo training to set up a COVID test facility at Goa, as reported.

The move came into action, when a request to the Navy for providing air transport was received by Flag Officer Commanding Goa area during the late hours of Tuesday, 24th of March. Navy instantaneously initiated necessary procedures and the aircraft took off in the Wednesday morning. A few samples of COVID-19 suspects were also carried by the medical team for testing. The medical team is likely to return to Goa on Friday, 27th of March post completion of their training.

After ENC and WNC, on Thursday Southern Naval Command braced up for the long haul as on now against the pandemic outbreak. Consequent to the announcement of the 21 days national lock down, Southern Naval Command (SNC) has taken a slew of measures in consultation with the state Government and Naval Headquarters aimed at two pronged strategy to counter the contagion COVID-19, which is to be prepared and equipped to assist the civil society in its fight against the disease and concurrently to ensure insulation of own personnel from infection as well as availability for all duties as and when required.

Which includes, Ten teams of Battle Field Nursing Assistants (BFNA), comprising of non-medical personnel have been readied at Kochi to help medical staff should there be any situation become overwhelming. Such BFNA teams are being readied at all other stations under the aegis of SNC. Indian Navy has implemented ‘stay wherever you are, no travel’ policy with regards to its personnel on leave or temporary duty.

Headquarters Southern Naval Command had prepared one of its training units at Kochi as the Corona Care Centre (CCC) for 200 Indian citizens being airlifted by Government of India from different parts of the world back to India as directed by the Govt. earlier.  A separate CCC facilities for another 200 service personnel and families has been created for any eventuality affecting service personnel. The two facilities have been prepared as per existing directives of requiring dedicated and isolated food, toilets, medical waste management and recreational arrangements for 14 days. 

The CCC will be administered by a dedicated group of officers and personnel and a separate Medical Care Centre of Indian Navy doctors and nursing staff, who would conduct the medical aspects of control of the patients. Medical protocols promulgated by Ministries of Health are being strictly adhered to.

Special sanitization drives for public areas and awareness of personnel including families are being undertaken at a large level by IN. 

(The writer is a Delhi-based independent contributor to print and online publications )