DG'S MESSAGE FOR CORONA WARRIORS

Shri Surjeet Singh Deswal

Shri Surjeet Singh Deswal, IPS (HY-84)

Dear Himveers,
         ITBP is serving the nation and it has been known for making sacrifices for the security and sovereignty of the Nation. We salute our comrades-in-arms who have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty at the altar of motherland for upholding the nation's Honor. Their sacrifice will continue to inspire us. We always hold our brethren, who suffered grave injuries in the call of duty, in highest esteem.

      ITBP is currently deployed along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, where border tensions with China have peaked in the past couple of months following incursions by the red army and clashes between the soldiers of two sides due to differing perceptions of territories.

       The COVID-19 is a huge threat and is currently affecting 213 countries and territories around the world and the figures are raising as a huge jump of 22,771 new Covid-19 cases was recorded in the last 24 hours, which has now taken India's tally to 6,48315 cases as on 4th July 2020.

       Armed forces and Central Armed Police forces are dedicated to the nation to deal with all kinds of challenging situations. Be it Army or ITBP they are dedicated to the nation for protection of integrity, sovereignty and borders of the nation or combating a pandemic like COVID, we promise no stones will be left unturned.

       For the last four months, the ITBP was also entrusted with multifarious challenges like COVID Pandemic but it has prepared itself to deal in its service to the nation and we are proud that the medical and paramedical staff of the force has risen to the occasion to meet the challenge; be it border skirmishes or medico humanitarian crisis like the present one. ITBP has gained a lot of experience in the last 4 months. Initially, we managed a COVID quarantine center in Chhawla and then our DCHC at a 200 bedded hospital in Noida. We promise you that our medical team will always be there with the people whenever they require assistance.

       Earlier this year, the ITBP had created and managed a 1,000 bed quarantine centre at our Chhawla camp located in south-west Delhi. The Chhawla Centre was operational since 28.01.2020 with first batch arriving from Wuhan on 1.02.2020 which incidentally happened to be the first and largest quarantine Centre in India and provided quarantine to about 1,000 people who arrived in the country on special evacuation flights from China and Italy after the outbreak of the disease and 18 of them turned positive. There were many women and small children in the groups from China and Italy who were given a homely environment and all basic and other amenities. We also had 42 nationals from 7 friendly countries who were kept at this quarantine facility. Our clinicians and staff selflessly worked around the clock to provide care to the patients, we also have been overwhelmed by the support we got from the government in this endeavor.

       ITBP has been running a Dedicated COVID Healthcare Facility at Greater Noida. Managed by ITBP, the 200 bedded CAPF Referral Hospital, Greater Noida is known for the best medical facilities in the lines of super specialty Hospitals for the CAPF personnel and specialist senior doctors of the CAPFs serve here. Facility of telemedicine is also available from here. The Hospital was inaugurated in 2018. Incidentally, this is the first Hospital in the CAPFs which started the treatment of Covid-19 positive cases in the country. The doctors and other medical staff serving at the CAPF Referral Hospital have done a remarkable job to adapt in the challenging scenario and the Hospital has deployed its resources for the treatment of the Covid19 positive personnel in the CAPFs. ITBP has converted this Hospital into a Covid19 treatment facility working 24x7.

       So far, the RH has provided treatment to not only CAPF personnel but also include personnel from sister organizations like IB, NIA, CBI, NTRO and a few civilians too. The hospital has treated 572 personnel till date out of which 434 personnel have been cured and discharged and 138 personnel are currently undergoing treatment at the hospital and I am very proud to state that all these cases have been managed without a single mortality.

       One 65 year old Gentleman, a retired DIG of CRPF, a case of Coronary disease and Diabetes with obesity presented with fever dry cough and breathlessness for 10 days duration tried admission in different tertiary hospitals of Delhi NCR region but failed to get admission in any of them and exasperated he reported to the Referral Hospital and at the time of admission his sensorium was altered and SPO2 was barely 80%. We are happy that he responded to conservative treatment by our medical team and we are happy to say that he gradually improved to recover.

       Similarly, a 51 yr old BSF soldier a case of Chr. Pul. Obstructive Disease was admitted with difficulty in breathing and altered sensorium. His Oxygen saturation at room air was 74%. Chest X-ray showed bilateral pneumonia. He was managed with steroid, broad spectrum antibiotics and BIPAP support this condition improved and he was discharged on the 14th day of admission to name a few. Most of the patients have co morbidities which made it more challenging.

       Though the road to success was not that easy. The major hurdle was that though Referral Hospital started preparation for management of Covid-19 positive patients in the month of March, due to high infectious potential of the virus the posted staff was very wary during initial days after arrival of COVID patients in the Hospital. Subsequently, with passage of time the doctors and paramedical staff trained themselves to cope with such environment after these initial hiccups.

       Another challenge followed was that as the Hospital does not have any sanctioned staff for housekeeping. The housekeeping works are being carried out by hiring from outside and they were wary to work in this atmosphere due to fear of getting infection and other social reasons. A very high level of motivation was required to persuade them to work in the prevailing conditions.

       Getting good quality PPEs was another challenge we faced due to limited supply. The working conditions for the medical and paramedical personnel with PPE in the host and humid conditions for prolonged hours posed another challenge which thankfully got resolved by making provision for additional ACs. Non availability of facility of in house COVID-19 testing facility at the hospital is a major challenge we are currently facing. We are forced to be dependent on other organizations to get our tests done and an in house facility will be boon to us as it will save a lot of time and money to the state exchequer.

       It is in the backdrop to performance in these challenging assignments in the toughest conditions which prompted selection of ITBP by Honb'le Home Minister of India to run this India’s biggest and coveted COVID Care Facility named Sardar Patel COVID Care Centre and Hospital.

       I am thankful to my dedicated medical and paramedical team and other support staff who made it possible racing against time to make the facility partly operational on Sunday, with 2,000 of its 10,000 beds available for the needy. Out of the 2000 beds initially, 1800 beds will be serving as a COVID Care Centre and remaining 200 beds will be reserved for DCHC i.e. Dedicated COCID Care Centre.

       The COVID Care Centers will be managed by our trained doctors and paramedics. We have also pooled medical and paramedical resources from other forces also for this massive and noble cause and will fight as a unit to combat the menace.

       The DCHC will be supervised by our team medical specialists Dr. Rita Rani and Dr. Vinod. They will also be assisted by a team of specialists from Referral Hospital over telemedicine. As the first batch of COVID-19 patients is expected to be admitted at Sardar Patel Covid Care Centre, Radha Soami Beas, Chhatarpur, New Delhi on July 5, 2020, we are confident that these team of our COVID warriors will leave no stone unturned in an effort to flatten the COVID curve in the national capital a reality in the coming days.

       By taking over this world’s biggest covid care centre, the ITBP has once again devoted itself to the service of the nation and its citizens in the challenging times under its mission to fight against Covid19 as ‘Operation Corona Warriors’.

       Adequate arrangements have been made by the ITBP at the centre including security, reception, call centre, nursing stations, command control stores, maintenance staff etc. The robust admission and monitoring system has been prepared as ‘e-Hospital’ by the ITBP. Ambulances, E vehicles etc are also deployed. Full proof security has been ensured by the ITBP at the centre. A Special Quick Reaction Team is also deployed for any sudden security requirement.

       Sh Amit Shah, Hon’ble Home Minister, Sh Arvind Kejriwal, Hon’ble CM Delhi, Sh G Kishan Reddy, Hon’ble MoS Home, and Sh Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Home Secretary also visited this facility on 27 June, 2020 and motivated the ITBP personnel deployed at the centre. The Hon’ble HM congratulated the ITBP for its swift response to create the facility. Sh Anil Baijal, Hon’ble LG of Delhi also visited the facility on 5 July, 2020 and addressed our dedicated team of Doctors and other health professionals.

       We are always ready to devote ourselves to the service of our motherland and our morals are always high. Stay fit!

Jai Hind

(S S Deswal)
Director General
Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force