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Defence Ministry invokes special provisions to fight Covid surge

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on April 30, 2021

Grants emergency financial powers to the Armed Forces

The Ministry of Defence (MoD), on Friday, has invoked special provisions and granted Emergency Financial Powers to Armed Forces to fight the Covid-19 surge. This will empower them and speed up their efforts to tide over the current situation in the country, it said in a statement.

Under these powers, the Vice Chiefs of Armed Forces, including Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), and General Officer Commanding-in-Chiefs (GOC-in-Cs) and equivalents of all three services, have been given full powers, whereas Corps Commanders/Area Commanders have been delegated powers up to ₹50 lakh per case, and Division Commanders/Sub Area Commanders and equivalents have been delegated powers up to ₹20 lakh per case.

These powers have been devolved initially for three months from May 1 to July 31. These are in addition to the emergency powers delegated to the Medical Officers of the Armed Forces last week.

“These powers will help Formation Commanders establish and operate quarantine facilities/ hospitals and undertake procurement/ repair of equipment/items/material/stores, besides provisioning of various services and works required to support the ongoing effort against the pandemic,” said the Ministry in a statement.

The emergency powers were also sanctioned to the Armed Forces last year when the Covid-19 pandemic first broke out. This had helped the Armed Forces tackle the situation faster and in an effective manner, said the Ministry.

Cantonment Boards

Meanwhile, the MoD’s Cantonment Boards have extended a helping hand to civil administration/ State governments in various parts of the country, to tide over the current situation. They are providing support to not just its residents, but also to all those in need of medical assistance.

At present, 39 Cantonment Boards (CB) maintain 40 general hospitals with 1,240 beds. The CB hospitals at Pune, Kirkee and Deolali, with 304 beds, have been designated as dedicated Covid hospitals, it said.

Oxygen support is available in 37 CBs and they have a stock of 658 cylinders, it said.

Fever clinics have also been set up in all 39 CGHs, where patients with Covid-19 symptoms are referred to the designated Covid-19 treatment facilities. Rapid antigen and RT-PCR tests are being regularly organised, in coordination with district administration, while vaccination centres have also been set up in most of the Cantonments, it added.

Published on April 30, 2021

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