Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and three service chiefs will address a joint press conference at 6 pm on Friday. The three serving military chiefs include Chief of the Indian Army General MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, and IAF chief RKS Bhadauria. It comes at a time when the country is under a nationwide lockdown until May 3 due to coronavirus pandemic. The press briefing is expected to touch issues including preparedness of defence forces against coronavirus.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday already chaired a meeting with the top military brass on the same issue. CDS Bipin Rawat along with the three service chiefs were present in the meeting. In April, General Bipin Rawat had said that the defence services "must operate beyond the mandate to support the people and government in whatever way we can." The defence services emerged successful in combating coronavirus owing to its culture of 'discipline and patience', he had also said.
The government last month announced a freeze on additional increments of dearness allowance and dearness relief for 18 months for all central government employees, including serving military personnel and veterans.
Meanwhile, India recorded 1,993 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the highest 1-day jump, taking the total tally of confirmed cases to 35,043 on Friday, according to the latest update by the Union Health Ministry. These cases include 25,007 active cases, 8,888 cured or discharged, 1 migrated and 1,147 deaths.