News

Covid-19: Over 450 newly recruited CAPF doctors asked to join immediately; retired officials alerted

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 29, 2020 Published on March 29, 2020

Over 450 doctors recruited recently as medical officers in the CAPFs have been asked to join service “immediately” as the forces are ramping up their healthcare setup to combat COVID-19, a top paramilitary officer said on Sunday.

Retired medical officers have been “alerted” and modalities are being worked on to hire doctors on contractual service to man the chain of the forces’ country-wide hospitals and quarantine centres that have a combined strength of more than 7,200 beds, ITBP Director General (DG) Surjeet Singh Deswal told PTI.

“Over 450 doctors who were recruited as medical officers for all the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) recently have been called to join duty immediately...with no loss of time.

“They will enhance our strength in combating the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak in the country,” Deswal said.

A senior official said the plan was formulated at the ITBP headquarters and top-level sanctions were obtained from the Union Home Ministry before summoning these doctors.

These doctors, the DG said, were recruited recently by the government for the CAPFs and ITBP was the nodal agency for their recruitment.

The CAPFs have a combined strength of over 2,000 doctors and specialists at present apart from other paramedical staff.

These doctors are being posted to CAPF hospitals and bases near their place of stay so that they can join without having to travel far, the ITBP chief said.

The government had recently taken over the chain of 32 CAPF hospitals across the country, with a total capacity of about 1,900 beds, for isolation and treatment of COVID-19 affected patients.

These forces comprise the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

Elite counter-terror force National Security Guard (NSG) is also part of this complete setup of medical facilities being prepared given the increasing number of cases of coronavirus infections being reported from across the country.

“We are also preparing modalities to hire doctors on contract to work at our health facilities even as we have alerted those who have retired from service. Those who have superannuated are being asked to remain on standby as their services may be required anytime,” Deswal said.

The ITBP, which is primarily tasked to guard the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, is also running a 1,000-bed quarantine in Delhi’s Chhawla area.

A total of 418 Indians evacuated from Italy using special flights are housed at this facility at present, even as 518 citizens and foreigners have been discharged till now from here.

Deswal said the force, apart from round-the-clock medical monitoring and providing essential services of food and entertainment to the inmates, has now begun counselling them.

“Some of the people who have been evacuated from COVID-19-affected countries and are kept at our centre have high anxiety levels as they have seen devastation all around. That is normal for a human.

“We have begun their counselling and are motivating them by presenting them the facts about this viral diseases and success stories,” Deswal, a 1984-batch Haryana cadre IPS officer, said.

At present, he is also heading the BSF as an additional charge.

The DG said the morale of the force doctors and other staff members at the Chhawla camp is “high and they are committed in this fight against coronavirus“.

They are very happy to do this national duty, and we have provided all protective gear to all of them, he said.

The DG had on Saturday issued a message to the around 90,000-strong force that troops should be ready for any national duty that may be entrusted on them in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, and COVID-19 safety guidelines should be followed diligently.

The CAPFs also reported their first case of coronavirus infection on Saturday, with a BSF officer and a CISF jawan being found positive.

The CAPFs, which have around 10 lakh personnel, work under the command of the Home Ministry and are deployed to render a variety of internal security duties apart from border-guarding.

Published on March 29, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.