Army team in Maldives to set up virus testing lab

A 14-member medical team of the Indian Army has been deployed in Maldives since March 13 for setting up a testing lab for Coronavirus (COVID-19), Army Spokesperson Col. Aman Anand said on Monday. An Army team of six doctors and eight paramedical personnel has been deployed in Maldives, Col. Anand stated.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with heads of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) member-states and announced an initial contribution of $10mn for an emergency fund to fight COVID-19 in the region.

Giving details of the quarantine efforts by the military, a Defence Ministry official said over 555 people have so far been isolated in military-run facilities in different batches, of whom 372 have been discharged after the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

Two Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 Globemasters were used for evacuating 112 Indian citizens from Wuhan in China on February 27 and 58 Indian citizens from Tehran, Iran, on March 10. “The 34 crew members of Indian Air Force C-17 Globemasters who flew evacuation sorties from Wuhan and Tehran have been quarantined as a precaution. Of these, 17 crew members have been discharged after completion of the quarantine,” the official stated.

The Army has two facilities at Manesar, outside the national capital, and at Jaisalmer, which was activated on Sunday for those coming from Iran. The Navy has a quarantine facility at Ghatkopar, Mumbai, and the IAF has one at Hindon airbase.

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