All Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and BSF healthcare centres in the country will be open for COVID-19 treatment of their veterans and families of troops who laid down their lives in the line of duty, a senior officer said on Tuesday. The move by the two paramilitary forces comes in the backdrop of a similar recent decision announced by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
The CRPF has a chain of 19 healthcare hospitals in the country and as per an order issued by its headquarters here, all its retired personnel, their dependents and families of troops who were killed in the line of duty "will be provided initial care, advice and nursing care" for coronavirus.
The order said these hospitals will also help such patients get access to "treatment in government hospitals with the help of district surveillance officers, as per the requirements of clinical severity."
The CRPF is country's largest paramilitary force with about 3.25 lakh personnel and is the mainstay for country's internal security.
In the BSF, officials said, nine COVID-19 designated hospitals will admit the veterans, their dependents and families of personnel who made the supreme sacrifice on duty.
BSF Director General (DG) S S Deswal recently issued a message in this context.
"Our veterans have made great contributions by sweating out during service and making sacrifices."
"During COVID-19, we need to take care of them. It has been decided that BSF will offer health services and treatment for COVID-19 to our veterans in all our hospitals in the country to avoid all hardships," the DG said.
"Take care of your health and family members," he said in his message to the force and veterans.
The about 2.5 lakh personnel strong BSF is primarily tasked to guard Indian fronts with Pakistan and Bangladesh apart from rendering other internal security duties.
Deswal, who is also heading the ITBP, had issued similar directions for the about 20,000 veterans and dependents of the mountain-trained force.
He had said that the decision was being taken after they came across media reports of people facing problems in getting admission or treatment at COVID-19 designated hospitals.
Following this direction, two family members of retired BSF personnel have been admitted to the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) Referral hospital in Greater Noida.