NEW DELHI: With the number of coronavirus cases swelling in the country, the Indian Army on Friday decided to expand quarantine facilities at multiple locations with an additional capacity to cater to 1,500 people.
The Army has also issued an advisory to military stations, army formations and service hospitals on ways to fight the coronavirus, including asking its personnel to avoid all non-essential foreign travels.
Army sources said the possible locations to set up quarantine facilities included Jaisalmer, Suratgarh, Secundrabad, Chennai and Kolkata.
As per sources, military hospitals will also establish isolation wards and have separate outpatient departments for screening of suspected cases of the coronavirus, which has claimed at least 3,400 lives globally and spread to more than 90 countries.
The Army headquarters said service hospitals will work in synergy with local civil medical authorities and designated ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) labs.
In January, the Army had set up a facility near Manesar in Haryana to keep people with suspected symptoms of the coronavirus.
So far, India has 31 confirmed cases of the infection while nearly 29,000 people have been put under surveillance.
In the advisory, the Army headquarters issued detailed instructions on emergency response in tackling the virus.
Local military authorities have also been asked to initiate suitable measures to avoid all non-essential mass gatherings like festivals, welfare activities till the situation improves.
The Army headquarters also directed all its formations and bases to launch awareness campaigns about preventive measures.
The advisory also said service personnel should be encouraged to utilise shopping facilities within military stations and avoid visiting crowded areas like shopping malls.