On the first day of the 21 Day Lock-down period, Army facility in Jodhpur received 277 evacuees from Iran that included 273 pilgrims. The evacuees included 149 women & six children were transferred on IA Flights from Delhi to Jodhpur and screened on arrival at Jodhpur airport before being taken to the medical facility which has been designed not just for isolation but also for mental & physical wellness through a regimented routine including some sports and recreational activities.
At the HQ level, Army called off the day for office goers to review the situation and minimise exposure except for those involved in essential duties. The global lock-down has affected and significantly reduced the office work be it international cooperation, training events, postings, courses, duty moves etc. Emergency staff including duty officials, medical fraternity, drivers, cooks and other support staff continued to work as hither to fore.
Army at present is operating medical facilities for evacuees at Manesar, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur with evacuees from Iran, Italy and Malaysia occupying these. Evacuees from Wuhan & Japan have already been discharged after full protocol was observed. Of the over 1200 evacuees, medical staff and Air crew kept in these facilities till now, only one case of +ve COVID-19 has been reported so for. This does not include another case reported from on IAF Facility in Hindon.
In addition to the above, more Army medical facilities at Jhansi, Binnaguri and Gaya are kept at standby with an additional collective capacity of 1600 beds. More facilities are kept at short notice. This does not include the additional capacity created and kept ready by the sister services i.e., Navy and IAF.
Indian Army is prepared to take the present and future challenges with all its might and will continue to support the National effort.
Col Aman Anand