As per the order, delegated DGsMS (Army/Navy/Air Force) will have financial powers up to Rs 5 crore

NEW DELHI: In a crucial decision, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved delegation of emergency financial powers to Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

An emergency financial power of Rs 5 crore has been delegated to Director Generals Medical Service of Army, Navy and Air Force, Rs 3 crore financial power to Major General and its equivalent rank and Rs 2 crore to Brigadier and its equivalent rank.

As per the order, delegated DGsMS (Army/Navy/Air Force) will have financial powers up to Rs 5 crore. The delegated financial power to Major General and equivalent will be Rs 3 crore and Brigadier and equivalent will be able to decide on matters up to Rs 2 crore.

Emergency powers have been delegated to the said officials up to September 30, 2021, with a provision for revision to expedite procurement of medical items/materials/stores and provisioning of various services for treatment/management/tackling of Covid cases. This will empower in providing medical services to the personnel of the Armed Forces as well as aid the civil administration, said MoD.

“Amid reports of shortage of oxygen in the hospitals during the second wave of Covid across the country, the AFMS (Armed Forces Medical Services) has decided to import oxygen generation plants and containers from Germany to cater to the shortage,” Babu said.

"Each plant has a capacity to produce 40 litres of oxygen per minute and 2,400 litres an hour. At this rate, it can cater to 20-25 patients round the clock. The advantage of these plants is that they are easily portable. A total of 23 such plants are being imported as of now."

These oxygen-generating plants are expected to reach India within a week. They will be deployed in AFMS hospitals to provide adequate oxygen to the needy Covid patients.

A large number of oxygen concentrators are also under procurement, added a source.

Keeping the rising number of cases among the dependents of the services personnel, veterans and the serving personnel in mind, the decision was taken by the Armed Forces to convert the Base Hospital at Delhi Cantt into a 1,000-bed Covid hospital. “The hospital will be activated in a week.” said the source.

Contributing to the Covid relief efforts, the Indian Air Force airlifted Covid testing set up to Leh in Ladakh. In addition, two C-17 transport aircraft airlifted two empty Linde cryogenic oxygen containers and one IL 76 airlifted one empty Inox container to Panagarh in West Bengal.