The government has directed the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to prepare quarantine facilities with a bed capacity to admit over 5,400 people to deal with cases of coronavirus across the country, officials said on Monday. These forces, comprising the Central Reserve Police Force, the Border Security Force, the Central Industrial Security Force, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, the Sashastra Seema Bal and the National Security Guard, have also been asked to create 75 isolation wards as part of preparations to combat possible large-scale outbreak of the virus.
Officials told PTI that the Union home ministry has asked these forces to create a total of 5,440-bed capacity at 37 locations in the country. 75 isolation wards are also to be created at these locations by these forces, they said.
"The aim is to build capacity. These forces have also been asked to earmark and depute their respective teams of doctors, paramedics and sanitation officials who will man these quarantine facilities," a senior home ministry officer said.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force, which is already running such a quarantine centre in Delhi's Chhawla area, has also been asked to prepare training modules for specialist trainers of these forces.
ITBP experts will hold workshops and prepare online modules for these forces to make them understand the management and other medical protocols to run a quarantine centre for coronavirus affected people, officials said.
The second batch of people, including Indians and foreigners, evacuated from Wuhan in China are still living at the ITBP centre.
ITBP Director General (DG) S S Deswal, they said, will also be holding an awareness session on these measures on a free-to-air Doordarshan channel.
All these forces have also been asked to conduct awareness and outreach programmes as part of preparing the community against the coronavirus, they said.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 43 on Monday with four people, including a three-year-old child in Kerala who had returned from Italy, testing positive for the disease, Health Ministry officials said.
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said the government is prepared to deal with the issue and his ministry is sending directives, including guidelines, to states in all the languages on ways to contain it.