The armed forces have been given emergency procurement powers and all departments have been told to work on a war footing to help civil administration throughout the country in the battle against Covid-19.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh, who held a virtual meeting on the public health crisis with top officials on Tuesday, has also suggested that retired armed forces personnel, who have been vaccinated, be roped in to assist state governments to deal with the situation.

As reported, the minister has also asked the armed forces to remain in touch with chief ministers across states where formations are based to identify where they can be of assistance to augment health infrastructure.