Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Thursday said that the army is undertaking its operational tasks like before and the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak has not hit its preparedness.
“There are contingency plans in place and spread of Covid-19 will not affect the core efficiency of the army. The temporary phase of postponing our routine activities will soon be overcome by rescheduling them as and when the situation stabilises. As of now, our focus will be to combat Covid-19 aggressively by taking precautions, following the lockdown and curfew measures effectively and preparing own resources for future scenario,” the chief said.
He said it was the army’s “earnest responsibility” to keep the borders safe while the country was preparing and fighting the pandemic.
He said that at present Covid-19 was in preparatory stage of impact in India and the country was making concerted efforts to prevent the disease from establishing a firm base. “Concurrently, we are preparing for stringent counter measures, should Covid-19 manage to gain a foothold. The next few weeks will be crucial to prevent negative effects of this deadly mutant virus,” Naravane said.
On a day defence minister Rajnath Singh asked the armed forces, defence public sector undertakings and other organisations to pull out all the stops to fight the Covid-19 outbreak and extend assistance to civil administration, the army chief said his force was ready to provide any assistance to civil authorities whenever called for.