Over three months since the outbreak of the coronavirus in China’s Wuhan province, India is on a state of alert as the pathogen makes its way from one state after another. The Health Ministry which is leading the charge on the pandemic has roped in the armed forces as the first respondent to the crisis.
While the Indian Army was the first to establish a quarantine facility in Manesar, which has since been increased to five across India, a positive case in the Ladakh Scouts regiment has sent the alarm bells ringing in the defence corridors. The 34-year-old soldier, a resident of Chuhot village in Leh, came in contact with his father, who had returned from a pilgrimage in Iran by an Air India flight on February 20 and tested positive for COVID-19.
Following the development, several policy decisions have been taken by the forces to ensure the safety of men and women in uniform.
The Army has ordered that leave granted to jawans and officers will be extended beyond March 21 in view of the ongoing crisis. Defence PRO, Rajasthan, Colonel Sombit Ghosh said that decision has been taken at the Army Headquarters and that while some soldiers returning from leaves were allowed to join their units, leaves of others is being extended.