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Coronavirus | Navy Chief says it’s going to be a long battle

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh. File

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

‘In case the COVID-19 situation worsens, we should scale up facilities to handle people’

Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh has asked the rank and file of the Navy to redouble current efforts to ensure that all personnel and their families are safe. The Services were the last bastion and “if the caregivers become careseekers it would be a big problem.” “

“We have to ensure that our operational assets, specifically ships and submarines, remain free from the virus. It is a very difficult task because physical distancing onboard ships and especially submarines is very tough… but physically we will maintain the required distance of six feet,” he said in a video message released to the force.

The challenge was not over yet and it was only going to intensity in days and weeks ahead, Adm Singh said. “It will require us to augment our preparedness. It can be no longer business as usual. We need to take concrete measures so that we are geared and prepared to tackle the full onslaught of this deadly virus.”

Outlines priorities

Adm Singh outlined priorities to all naval personnel: redouble the current efforts to ensure that the personnel and their families are safe; ensure operational assets, specifically ships and submarine, remain free from the virus; support the overall national effort, which the Navy is already contributing in a big way across all stations. The spirit of innovation over the last two weeks had been very heartening, he said referring to various developments like the hand-held thermal scanner, and assisted respiratory devices, among others, that were adapted for usage.

Adm Singh said everyone should keep the guard up and “retain our sights on being combat ready.” “Operational readiness must remain an important priority. We should hope for the best and plan for the worst. We need to be ready for the worst case scenario. It is going to be a long battle.”

Once the lockdown is lifted, the movement of personnel would be done in a deliberate and coordinated fashion. It might be delayed but there should be no rush, he stated.

In case the situation worsens, the Navy should scale up facilities to handle people, facilitate movement from one coastal State to another, assist the local authorities in law and order, prepare short vehicles for movement and intensify efforts for community kitchens and support groups among other measures. “All this while ensuring that perimeter security and overall security, access control, surveillance and response to asymmetric threat do not go down,” he added.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 6:20:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-navy-chief-says-its-going-to-be-a-long-battle/article31300859.ece

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