COVID-19: armed forces issue instructions to personnel

Military hospitals have been asked to establish isolation wards and have separate Out Patient Departments for screening of symptomatic cases to prevent avoidable transmission

March 06, 2020 03:41 pm | Updated 07:22 pm IST - New Delhi

Photo used for representational purpose.

Photo used for representational purpose.

Following various advisories by the government on COVID-19, the Army Headquarters has issued detailed instructions on preparations and emergency response to tackling the virus. Personnel have been asked to avoid and postpone social gatherings and places outside cantonments.

The Navy and the Air Force have also issued safety guidelines to their personnel, defence sources said.

The latest advisory includes detailed instructions for actions at various military stations, Army formations and Service hospitals, an Army official said on Friday.

“Local military authorities will exercise suitable control to avoid/postpone all non- essential mass gathering like festivals, welfare activities and public gatherings till situation improves,” the advisory says. Regular health information education and counselling activities will be carried out at all military stations, it notes. “All non-essential foreign travel to be avoided,” the advisory states.

An Army official said, military hospitals have been asked to establish isolation wards and have separate Out Patient Departments (OPD) for screening of symptomatic cases to prevent avoidable transmission. “Service hospitals will work in synergy with local civil medical authorities and designated Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) labs.”

Service personnel would be encouraged to utilise shopping complex facilities within the cantonments, military stations and avoid visits to crowded areas like movie halls and shopping malls, the official added.

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