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Army drafted in to help India’s struggling hospitals battle spiraling Covid cases

Army drafted in to help India’s struggling hospitals battle spiraling Covid cases
The Indian government has ordered the country’s armed forces to provide support to medical facilities in a bid to alleviate pressure on hospitals as the nation faces an overwhelming surge in Covid cases.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief of defense staff, General Bipin Rawat, confirmed on Monday that oxygen will be transferred from military sites to hospitals, army infrastructure will be at the ready if needed, and service personnel will be made available where necessary.

Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan shared photos on Twitter of the country’s operation to ensure that oxygen, medicine and medical equipment is provided to help the country battle back against “this wave of Covid-19.”

Parts of India have entered lockdown to reduce social contact amid the rise in cases exacerbated by mass gatherings, including Maharashtra and Karnataka, with the measures due to last until early May. 

New Delhi has also been hit particularly hard by the latest Covid case surge in India.

“Currently the hospital is in beg-and-borrow mode and it is an extreme crisis situation,” according to a spokesperson for the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in India’s capital.

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With the death toll of the pandemic rising in the country, some of the worst-impacted areas have resorted to holding mass cremations to avoid a backlog of coffins building up. 

States around the world have pledged to send urgent medical aid to India to help as the country continues to report record daily infection rates. The US is set to send materials to manufacture vaccines, medical kits and personal protective equipment, while Russia will fly special planes containing oxygen generators and coronavirus treatment drugs to India.

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