Asserting that no COVID-19 case has been reported from any forward areas in the twin Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the Army on Saturday said the northern command has advocated best practices to be followed by its personnel including quarantining the troops returning from leave and temporary duties.
It said the northern command has also been working tirelessly in conjunction with civil administration and medical authorities to fight the pandemic as well as to bring the much-needed succour to the people during the present crisis as part of Operation Namaste.
“No COVID-19 case has been reported from our forward areas including Leh, where our troops stand strong. The protocols adopted by Army have ensured that no other soldier has come in contact with COVID patients and they are being treated at Command Hospital, Northern Command,” Udhampur-based Public Relations Officer (Defence), Lt Col Abhinav Navneet, said.
He said individuals are being screened and tested again meticulously to ensure a COVID-free environment in forward areas. The northern command is fully poised to carry out its operational tasks as well as to aid civil administration in whatever manner required, the spokesperson said.
Lt Col Navneet said the northern command has advocated best anti-corona practices to be followed by army personnel including various sanitization drills, self-isolation measures, post-infection care, and prescribed measures including quarantining the troops returning from leave and temporary duties.
After medical screening, the troops are being quarantined for the stipulated period, tests are being carried out and thereafter the troops are dispatched to their locations, he said. Terming the effort of the Army to combat the coronavirus in J&K and Ladakh as exemplary, the PRO said the northern command is maintaining daily contact and liaison with civil administration to control the pandemic.
It has opened a COVID-19 hospital facility at Old Air Field, Srinagar, a testing facility at Command Hospital, Udhampur, a number of Quick Reaction Medical Teams (QRMTs) to assist civil medical authorities in emergency situations and also stand-by columns for providing aid to civil administration in case of any deteriorating law and order situation as carried out by few anti-social elements in other parts of India, he said.
Lt Col Navneet said COVID Command Control Rooms have also been established in all headquarters and 24×7 helpline numbers shared with civil administration.
“Indian Army has a dual task during the pandemic — to assist the people as well to keep the troops physically and mentally fit for their primary role,” he said.
As part of Op NAMASTE, army units are organizing awareness drives on COVID-19, display, and broadcast of advisories, telemedicine facility, online education initiatives, distribution of safety kits to include face masks, hand sanitisers, protective glove and disinfectant to the locals.