NEW DELHI, May 3:
Treating the current coronavirus wave like a war, the armed forces have launched operation “CO-JEET” to aid anti-COVID-19 efforts, like strengthening medical infrastructure and oxygen supply chains, as well as take measures to ensure mental wellbeing of people.
Besides medical therapy, patients need the reassurance that they will be fine and “in times of stress, if you have someone to talk to, it makes a huge difference”, said Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Medical) Lieutenant General Dr Madhuri Kanitkar.
Lt Gen Kanitkar, who is the third woman to become a three-star general in the armed forces, is working round the clock to strategise and monitor steps to provide relief to COVID-19 patients.
Often seen on the move and mingling with her staff, especially at the COVID-19 centre set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation near the Delhi airport, Lt Gen Kanitkar told PTI that COVID-19 patients need reassurance that all will be fine and “I believe more in conviction therapy and making them smile”.
The second COVID-19 wave has put huge pressure on the country’s health system, with health facilities in several states reeling under a shortage of oxygen, medicines and equipment needed to treat coronavirus patients and also beds.
“Under the CO-JEET” plan, personnel of the three wings of the armed forces – the Army, the Indian Air Force and the Navy – have been pressed into service to help restore oxygen supply chains, set up COVID beds and provide help to the civilian administration in its fight to control the pandemic,” said the Lt General, whose post of deputy chief integrated defence staff (medical) comes under the Chief of Defence Staff.
Like every healthcare worker in the country, teams of personnel of the armed forces are also working round the clock, the senior officer said.
“In addition to the ongoing COVID situation, most ex-servicemen are also coming to military hospitals. In cities like Delhi and Pune, we have made 400-500 bed hospitals purely for defence and ex-servicemen,” she said.
Efforts are also underway to provide additional beds across the country for mixed COVID-19 management, Kanitkar said.
Giving details about operation “CO-JEET”, Lt Gen Kanitkar, whose husband also retired as a lieutenant general from the Army making them the only couple to have reached the position, said that “undoubtedly this is a war like situation and every wing of the nation is doing its best as common citizens are affected by this pandemic.”
She said the Department of Defence has created a COVID-19 Crisis Management Committee and “we are working on it on a war footing together”.
“CO-JEET stands for co-workers of all the three services who will finally achieve ‘Jeet’ (victory) over COVID.The whole team is working in a very energised way because a soldier is trained to fight under adverse situations and he doesn’t give up, we are not just doctors, we are soldiers,” the Lt General said. (PTI)
NEW DELHI, May 3: