Indian artist Sudarsan Pattnaik puts some final touches as he makes a sand sculpture depicting doctors wearing protective facemasks with a message reading "We are For You", "Stay Home Stay Safe" at Puri beach in Puri on April 3, 2020. (Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images)

More than 30,000 doctors, including those who retired from government and armed forces’ service, and private physicians have volunteered to help the Indian government fight the pandemic, a senior official said on Friday (3).

The government on March 25 had appealed to retired government, Armed Forces Medical Services, public sector undertaking or private doctors to come forward and join the efforts to fight the pandemic caused by the deadly novel coronavirus.

“About 30,100 volunteer doctors, including retired government, Armed Forces Medical Services, public sector undertaking or private doctors have signed up to the government to battle COVID-19 pandemic,” the official told PTI.

The number of COVID-19 cases climbed to 2,301 in the country on Friday while the death toll rose to 56, according to the Union Health Ministry.

In a statement posted on Niti Aayog’s website on March 25, the government had said those who wish to contribute to this and be a part of this noble mission to serve the country may register themselves on a link provided on the official website of the Niti Aayog.

“The Government of India requests for volunteer doctors who are fit and willing to be available for providing their services in the public health facilities and the training hospitals in the near future.

“We appeal to such doctors to come forward at this hour of need. You could also be a retired government, Armed Forces Medical Services, public sector undertaking or a private doctor,” the statement said.

It had noted that in case the outbreak leads to a high number of infected individuals, India’s public health facilities will face tremendous load to take care of a large number of patients.

Many countries, including the US, Italy, the UK and Vietnam, have urged retired health workers to come back to work amid the pandemic.