The Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command (WNC) has readied three of its hospitals with oxygen beds for Covid-19 patients, an official said on Thursday.

The arrangements have been made at INHS Jeevanti in Goa, INHS Patanjali in Karwar, Karnataka and INHS Sandhani in Mumbai, an official release issued stated.

Facilities have been also set up in the Navy’s premises in Mumbai to provide basic amenities to migrant labourers so that they are not compelled to travel to their hometowns amid the pandemic, the release said. Naval authorities at Karwar have made arrangements for aiding nearly 1,500 migrant labourers by supplying of essential items, rations and basic healthcare, it was stated.

Naval authorities are also in touch with civil administration and all preparatory actions have been stepped up to offer any Covid-19 contingency assistance, if requested, the statement further said.

INHS Asvini in Mumbai has readied composite teams for deployment at short notice, including medical and non-medical persons trained as “Battle Field Nursing Assistants” to man hospitals being set up for Covid-19 care in different parts of the country.

According to the statement, INHS Patanjali, the first Armed Forces hospital to treat civilian Covid-19 patients last year, is prepared to receive civilian patients again if there is any emergent requirement.

In addition to earmarking some Covid-19 oxygen beds for civilians at INHS Jeevanti, Headquarters Goa Naval Area, the Navy is exploring the provision of providing oxygen to civil hospitals based on requests received from the administration, it was also stated.

Presently, all Navy hospitals are vaccinating service personnel, their dependents, defence civilians and their dependents as per guidelines.

The Gujarat Naval Area has offered support to the civil administration for transporting critical medical stores or equipment to Covid-19 affected areas, setting up community kitchens for the poor and other technical help.

Once people in the age group of 18 to 44 are vaccinated starting May 1, the Navy will also consider the feasibility of extending the vaccination facility to civil population in the vicinity.