NEW DELHI, March 9 (IANS): As the number of coronavirus cases increased to 43 on Monday, the Centre asked the armed forces to set up 5,535 quarantine bed facilities with isolation wards at their units across the country as well as to train personnel to provide a helping hand to the affected people.
The order, accessed by IANS, has been circulated to the paramilitary forces, which have started work in right earnest.
The National Security Guard (NSG), the Border Security Force (BSF), the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), the Sashastra Seeem Bal (SSB), the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) have been tasked with the new responsibility.
They have been asked to set up quarantine and isolation facilities at their 32 units in different cities.
The direction has come at a time when the disease, officially named SARS-Cov-2, has claimed over 3,600 lives and affected over 100,000 people across 95 countries since its outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
While NSG's Manesar-based unit in Haryana has been asked to ready five isolation wards, its Hyderabad unit, a 300-bed quarantine centre.
The BSF units deputed in Baikunthpur, Kolkata & Kadamtala (West Bengal), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Indore & Tekanpur (MP), Chakur (Maharashtra), Kharkan & Jalandhar (Punjab), Hazaribag (Bihar), Srinagar (J&K) and Agartala (Tripura) have been asked to set up 1,940-bed quarantine facilities and 10 isolation wards.
Baikunthpur has been asked to set up a 800-bed quarantine facility along with 10 isolation wards, Jodhpur 400 beds, Indore and Chakur 200 beds each, Kharkan 120 beds, Hazaribag 100 beds, and Srinagar, Jalandhar, Tekanpur, Kolkata, Kadamtala and Agartala 20 beds each in their units.
The CRPF's 19 units have been asked to establish 1,800-bed quarantine facilities and 40 isolation wards. It's Pinjore-based unit has been asked to establish 180-bed quarantine facility; Guwahati, Jammu, Narela, Neemuch, Kolkata, Imphal 150-bed facilities each; Nagpur (120); Ranchi, 209 Cobra Battalion, Mokamaghat & Muzaffarpur 75-bed facilities each; Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Pallipuram and Gandhinagar 50-bed capacities each.
The paramilitary force's five units in Jammu, Guwahati and Hyderabad have been asked to set up 10-bed isolation capacity each; and Allahabad and Bengaluru 5-bed capacity each.
The SSB's Yelki (near Nanded, Maharashtra) unit has been tasked to be ready with 100-bed quarantine facility.
The CISF's Shivganga unit near Madurai has been asked to set up a 300-bed quarantine facility, while the ITBP's Chhawla unit in Delhi and Greater Noida have been asked to be ready with 1,000-bed quarantine facility and 20 bed isolation facility, respectively.
The ITBP, which is already providing the facility, has been tasked to train personnel of the security forces even through online video and audio links. It begun the training through video link for which it took the help of 'Zoom' app.
"The purpose of the advance preparation is to provide separate care unit to suspected coronavirus patients in different states so that they didn't affect others," a Home Ministry official told IANS.
With three new cases confirmed on Monday in Delhi, UP and Kerala, the number of coronavirus cases has risen to 43. Four new cases -- one each in Ernakulam (Kerala), Delhi, UP and Jammu -- have been reported since Sunday.
Of these 43, three patients in Kerala that were confirmed positive in February have recovered and been discharged from the hospital.