The Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force are currently readying 11 more quarantine facilities at various places in the country, in addition to four which are already functional at Manesar, Jaisalmer, Mumbai and Hindon, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.
MoD officials said the ministry has deployed all possible resources in the aid of civilian authorities to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. A large number of Indian nationals have till now been evacuated by the Indian Air Force from countries like Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, United States of America, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru, as well as from some of the severely COVID-19-affected countries such as China, Japan, Italy and Iran.
As a precautionary measure, these evacuated persons are being kept under quarantine for a period of 14 days. Army, Navy and Air Force have set up quarantine facilities which are being called ‘wellness centres’.
“It was the Army which had set up the first isolation facility at Manesar, where the first batch of Indian citizens evacuated from Wuhan in China were quarantined. Subsequently, one more facility was set by the Army at Jaisalmer and one each by the Navy at Mumbai, and by the IAF at Hindon. Most of these facilities are near existing military stations, from where resources of Armed forces formations are being deployed for running these facilities. There is close coordination with civil agencies for every aspect of its functioning,” said an officer.
He added,”These centres are fully equipped and functional facilities, helping people to undertake the mandatory quarantine period under the supervision of skilled medical authorities. Soldiers have volunteered to provide care and support to our citizens returning from overseas. In addition, more quarantine facilities are being readied and may be made operational within 48 hours, if needed. These facilities are at Jodhpur, Kolkata and Chennai by Army, Visakhapatnam and Kochi by Navy and at Bengaluru, Kanpur, Jaisalmer, Jorhat and Gorakhpur and Dundigal near Hyderabad by the IAF.
Those admitted are also being provided with facilities to be in touch with their family members. Prophylactic measures are also being taken to prevent the spread of the contagion. Awareness campaigns are being undertaken to educate people about COVID-19. “While local military authorities are coordinating efforts to operate these quarantine facilities, the situation is being monitored from the respective Command headquarters of the individual services and by the Armed Forces Medical Services,” said an officer.
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