War Fear: Hospitals Asked To Paint Roofs With Red Cross

Srinagar: With the war cry intensifying by the day, Delhi has asked the state government to be ready for any eventuality instructing it to paint the roofs of all the healthcare facility with Health Cross marks.

According to the sources, the decision in this regard was taken after the state government received a formal communiqué from New Delhi to be prepared to face any eventuality in case of a military aggression.

While each of the 22 districts will have to setup an emergency committee to meet any eventuality and to correspond with the concerned quarters, main emphasis will be on preparedness at the hospitals.

Sources said a high level meeting to decide the detailed modalities is expected to be held here anytime from now while Chief Secretary, BR Sharma, Director General of Police K Rajendra and a representative of the 15 Corp of Indian Army will attend the meeting. 

The Health authorities have already initiated steps in this regard with Director Health Kashmir Dr Saleem-Ur-Rehman taking a lead by putting the hospitals in frontier areas like Karnah and Uri on high alert.

The department has also issued Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) to the health institutions for operating during war or a war-like situation.

Officials said all the hospitals and other healthcare facilities including nursing homes and dispensaries are being asked to paint a Cross atop rooftops. Similar norms have to be adhered for animal welfare.

A top official in know of the protocol said: “Healthcare facilities will bear a Red Cross encircled in white background, whereas psychiatric hospitals will have a white cross. The veterinary facilities will have to paint a blue cross on white background.”  

 “However, there won’t be any tendering for this work but will be done by the concerned departments on work-order basis,” the sources said.

The private hospitals and nursing homes will also have to get the rooftops painted out of their own expenses.

A senior official said the exercise of painting rooftops with cross emblem is among the basic drills ahead of any apprehended war as it prevents airstrikes on such edifice.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already asked the State’s Health Department to be prepared for war in view of escalation of tension between India and Pakistan along Line of Control (LoC).

The tensions heightened in the wake of militant attack on an Army headquarter in frontier Uri on September 18 when 19 soldiers were killed in the deadly strike.

Within a fortnight of militant attack on the Army brigade headquarters, India retaliated, through a surgical strike across the LOC on September 29.

Pakistan is bracing up for retaliation, which could mean a counter Surgical Strike on India, which has already asked people living within 10 kilometers of the LOC to migrate to safer places.

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