Indian Air Force

Coronavirus update: IAF asks pilots to have minimal contact, army shuts canteens

The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the army have announced new protocols to tackle the swift spread of Covid-19, including a ban on persons showing symptoms from boarding service aircraft, advising pilots not to step out of the cockpit and restricting the movement of army personnel in the 82 districts that are in lockdown.

The army has also directed soldiers to also keep a daily log of who they meet. Last week, the army had confirmed its first case of Covid-19 — a 34-year-old soldier had tested positive in Leh. It had then banned all entry and exit to and from the Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre where the man was posted.

The air force has asked its crew to have “minimal contact” with travellers. “Passengers will be briefed to avoid any unnecessary contact with persons/aircraft surfaces,” the IAF advisory said.

The army has restricted movement of personnel and shut its canteen stores department outlets in 82 districts that are in lockdown. The army has also instituted mechanisms to trace contact history and asked personnel to maintain a daily contact log.

Other measures in place include cancellation of all non-essential training, conferences and travel, and avoiding any assembly of more than 50 personnel.

Fresh instructions to combat Covid-19 were also issued by the navy after the lockdown of 82 districts that include key bases such as Mumbai and Vizag, two officials said asking not to be named.

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