The Northern Command of the Army has asked its troops returning from leave or outstation duties to report directly to the screening centres established at various transit camps in Jammu and Kashmir as part of its efforts to check the spread of coronavirus, an official said on Thursday. He said after the medical screening the troops are being quarantined for 14 days in isolation rooms established in the units.
The Indian Army's efforts in the fight against COVID-19 have gained momentum in the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh, PRO of northern command Lt Col Abhinav Navneet said.
A number of measures are being taken by the Army to prevent the epidemic amongst its personnel so that they are available to do their primary task and to support people in the fight against coronavirus, he said.
"Troops returning from leave or out station duties directly report to the screening centres established at various transit camps," the PRO said.
To maintain social distancing, distance between beds in the barracks has been increased, to avoid crowding in dining halls meals are served at staggered timings and adequate hand washing points are in place, he said.
The PRO added that at the unit level, a dynamic and judicious approach has been adopted by all ranks of the Indian Army to contribute to the efforts being made against coronavirus under its new mission 'Corona Mukt Awam' or coronavirus-free population.
The slogan "I will neither get infected nor will I infect others" is being "aggressively followed" by Army personnel, he said.
"Surveillance and control measures have been put in place and a number of innovative awareness programmes are being run by the field formations and units for the benefit of the populace, particularly in rural areas. Advisories by medical specialists on identification of and precautions against fomites has been issued to all in text and audio visual formats," Lt Col Navneet said.
He said Army personnel are being motivated to share the information with their families, friends and civilians in the areas of their deployment.
A total of 17 helplines in the two UTs of Ladakh & J&K for the public have been established by the troops of Northern Command.
The Mobile Vehicle Check Posts that are usually deployed for Counter Terrorist operations are innovatively educating the populace on COVID-19 by way of audio broadcasts through loudspeakers and hailers, he said.
Multiple advisories on social media including Audio Video Content have been posted using the Twitter handle of Northern Command and the same can be accessed by the public.
"The Army as an organization is proactively taking all measures. Drills have been set in. Should there be a situation to extend facilities to the civil administration, medical personnel and units are building their capacities, non-medical personnel are being taught to actively contribute to the care of patients and effort is on to enhance equipment holdings," the personnel said.