New Delhi: To augment medical care services to fight the brutal second COVID-19 wave, doctors and other staff from the Remount Veterinary Corps have been roped in by the armed forces, essentially to help run patient facilitation centres, officials said on Sunday.

Around 18 officers, over 120 junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and other ranks have been deployed in specially created COVID-19 facilities in the national capital, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Varanasi and Patna under operation ‘CO-JEET’, which was started by the combined armed forces in view of the pandemic.

‘CO-JEET’ stands for co-workers of all three services who will finally have ‘Jeet’ (victory) over COVID-19.

Operation ‘Co-JEET’ has engaged personnel of the three wings of the armed forces the Army, the Air Force and the Navy into services like helping restore oxygen supply chains, setting up COVID beds and providing help to the civilian administration in their fight to prevent the spread of the infection.

The Department of Defence has also created a COVID Crisis Management Committee.

The staff of the Remount Veterinary Corps (RVC) will be used to help facilitation centres to provide information to the kins of patients admitted to the make-shift (COVID) hospitals, the officials said.

Officers, JCOs and other ranks would be deployed at the COVID-19 care centres to help the over-stretched medical staff and provide timely information to anxious relatives and attendants of patients.

Relatives and attendants have been making a beeline outside these makeshift facilities to get information about their patients, and have often engaged with the staff deployed there for providing medical care to the infected.

Also read: Armed forces to recall retired medics to battle COVID-19

The fresh deployment will lessen the burden on medical personnel, the officials said.

COVID-19 is zoonotic, and the pharmacology and biochemistry of veterinary sciences and the human body is totally the same, they said.

The Remount Veterinary Corps, which has a history of more than two centuries, among other things and besides veterinary services also takes care of disease diagnosis and investigation, and research in emerging diseases.

The RVC also works round-the clock for prevention of zoonotic diseases.

Zoonotic diseases or zoonoses are caused by germs that can spread between animals and people. They are caused viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi.

Coronaviruses are from a family of RNA (ribonucleic acid) viruses and its infection is common in animals and humans, according to the Federation of European Veterinarians (FEV).

The FEV in a paper had said that some, but not all strains of coronavirus diseases, can be transmitted between animals and humans.

A wide range of animals is known to be the source of coronaviruses which include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-COVID) that originated from camels and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that originated from civet cats.

The fresh COVID-19 wave is being treated like war by the armed forces and they have launched operation ‘CO-JEET’ which encompasses psychological measures to allay fears and panic among patients, and augmentation of medical facilities to combat the disease.

Engaging veterinarians to provide help to health care workers has been done in other parts of the world, including in Britain and other countries of Europe last year.

In the United States, some states had kept veterinarians on standby to assist if needed, either by offering their medical expertise in hospitals or in mortuary management.



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