16 April

Military veterans have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone the military parade to be held on 9 May to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though a lockdown has been imposed across the country and public events have been banned, Russia so far has not dropped its plans to hold the parade, which would see thousands of army troops marching through the Red Square.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace reaffirmed his country’s support to NATO and its international response to the COVID-19 crisis. During a video conference held yesterday among NATO defence ministers, Wallace announced that the British Army will deploy two experts in counter disinformation operations to help protect member states from adversaries. The ministers also discussed how the Alliance can protect its almost one-billion citizens during the COVID-19 crisis and ways to counter disinformation.

India has kept its Army medical teams on standby so that they can deployed to assist neighbouring countries Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Afghanistan in their fight against Covid-19 if needed. On Saturday, Indian Air Force flew down its 15-member medical team to Kuwait after Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah requested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for medical help.

The Australian government has announced that a new defence-led Rapid Response Group (RRG) has been set up to help increase stocks of invasive ventilators to combat the Covid-19 outbreak. The RRG will investigate on how to upgrade non-invasive ventilators to work as invasive ventilators, as well as to re-purpose other suitable medical machines as invasive ventilators. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds CSC said: “Increasing invasive ventilator capacity in Australian medical facilities is a priority, given the potential for access to internationally sourced ventilators to be constrained.”

India-based defence startup SSS Defence and its parent company SSS Springs have manufactured a low-cost face shield, called as KAVAS. This ‘grab to go’ face shield is claimed to provide protection from Covid-19. KAVAS offers protection against splash of fluid-borne pathogens. SSS Defence International Business vice president Raaj Nair told Financial Express Online: “It is made of hi-grade OHP transparent sheet, custom made rivets and elastic. The visor can be cleaned with sanitising solutions and re-used with limited washes.”