The Indian armed forces have revised the quarantine policy for members of each service, at a time when the ongoing tensions with China at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh have fuelled an additional deployment of troops in the region.
The new guidelines state that soldiers who come back to their designated military base after domestic air travel will not have to undergo the 14-day quarantine.
ThePrint had reported in June that Directorate General of the Armed Forces Medical Services had issued guidelines a week after the Galwan Valley clash of 15 June, in which soldiers returning from leave or temporary duties, or reporting for a new posting, would be exempt from the mandatory 14-day quarantine, unless a clear Covid-19 infection risk was established.
While it is not clear if all military bases followed these guidelines, the number of Covid-19 cases had significantly increased among the armed forces. Sources said local orders were still in place in several military stations, mandating 14-day quarantine for people returning from leave or temporary duties.
Government data showed that until September, there were 16,758 Covid-positive cases in the Army, 1,365 in the Navy and 1,716 in the Air Force. There had been 32 fatalities among Army personnel, three in the IAF and none in the Navy.
Problems with leaves and temporary duties
The new guidelines make it clear that serving personnel travelling by air for temporary duty will not be required to undergo the mandatory quarantine period of 14 days on arrival at the station they are travelling to.