New Delhi: At a time when the coronavirus cases in the country have crossed 15,000-mark, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that the fight against COVID-19 is biggest invisible war in lifetime. He said it is also a war against the humanity. Also Read - COVID-19: Rajnath Holds Review Meet, Decides to Provide Temporary Shelters to Migrant Workers
“India is fighting COVID-19 crisis on war footing and all the government agencies are working in close coordination with one another to defeat the crisis,” Rajnath Singh said. Also Read - Rajnath Singh Speaks to US Defence Secretary; Discusses Coronavirus, Bilateral Defence Cooperation
He added that the expertise of Armed forces in communications, supply chain management, medical support and engineering is also being used to fight the virus at this critical time. Also Read - No Branch of Armed Forces Should Remain Closed For Women Officers: Rajnath Singh on Women’s Day
“The Central government has directed leading DPSUs to produce medical equipment like ventilators, masks, PPEs and other equipment,” he said, adding that three services are strictly adhering to instructions by PMO, Health Ministry and their own medical bodies.
The Defence Minister stated that the Armed forces are taking steps like curtailing troop movement, restricting leave, enforcing work from home to check coronavirus.
As part of the measures from the Centre, mandatory 14-day quarantine is also being enforced for all personnel coming from outside any station, irrespective of their ranks.
“In case of ships, strict monitoring of sailors is being undertaken and disembarkation at foreign ports authorised only in emergencies,” he added.
In the wake of the outbreak of the pandemic, special precautions are being taken on ships, submarines where it is difficult to strictly follow social distancing norms.
“Every rank has been told to maintain contact diary on daily basis and all collective training has been stopped,” he said, adding that the troops who have been medically validated as having no symptoms of coronavirus are being posted on borders.
He said that a number of strict measures are being taken to augment existing resources by instituting a coherent ‘Medical Management Plan’.
Replying to a question whether the pandemic has impacted operational aspects of the military, the defence minister said they are prepared for all contingencies and ready to defend India’s sovereignty from adversarial forces in all scenarios.
Talking about the situation along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, the defence minister said India is dominating the enemy through targeted intelligence-based strikes on their launch pads.
“The Indian armed forces are prepared for all contingencies and I can assure you that we are prepared to defend our sovereignty from adversarial forces in all scenarios,” he said.