On May 2, the Indian Defence Ministry approved 50 AFMS hospitals across the country designated as 'Dedicated and Mixed COVID Hospitals'.
India experienced the second wave of COVID-19 in mid-April 2021, with a seven-day rolling average of 392,000 cases, the BBC reported. Most of the country's hospital beds were exhausted during the time, and people faced a shortage of hospital beds and oxygen cylinders. During the time, Indian military hospitals, which are usually accessible to people working for the Army, opened for the general public.
On May 2, the Army's Additional Directorate General of Public Information tweeted, saying that the Ministry of Defence has approved a total of 50 AFMS hospitals (42 Army, 5 Air Force, and 3 Navy) designated as "dedicated & Mixed COVID Hospitals."
On April 29, 2021, the Indian Army converted its Base Hospital at Delhi Cantonment into a COVID-19 hospital, the Hindustan Times reported. The report further said that on Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh's request, the Army set up a 100-bed hospital for coronavirus patients in Mohali on April 27. Also, the military medical personnel, who retired or took premature retirement in the last two years, were recalled to work in COVID-19 facilities, the HT report said.
While briefing Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 29, Army Chief General MM Naravane said that the Army is setting up temporary hospitals in different parts of the country and is opening its medical facilities for civilians wherever possible, the Times of India reported.
Even in Pune, the Army established a COVID medical facility at the old Command Hospital Complex, where the civilian patients referred by district medical officer will be treated, TOI said. The Army also assisted in setting up a 900-bed hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and a 100-bed facility in Rajasthan's Barmer.
The Army made similar efforts in Madhya Pradesh, including two 40-bed facilities in Gwalior and Saugor and a 150-bed facility in Bhopal, the TOI report added.
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