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    Army to establish quarantine centres for 1,500 people as coronavirus spreads

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    The Indian Army will establish quarantine facilities for 1,500 people at different locations across the country in the wake of rising cases of novel coronavirus infections outside China, two officials familiar with the move said on Friday.

    The tentative locations where such facilities will come up as part of the government’s overall efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 include Jaisalmer, Suratgarh, Secunderabad, Chennai and Kolkata, said one of the officials cited above.

    Service personnel have also been asked to utilise shopping complex facilities within cantonments and military stations and avoid visits to crowded areas, including shopping malls and movie halls. The army has also asked its personnel to avoid non-essential foreign travel.

    Local military authorities have been asked to exercise control to avoid or postpone non-essential public gatherings, the second official said. The advisory has asked military hospitals to establish isolation wards and have separate out-patient departments for screening of symptomatic cases to prevent avoidable transmission.

    These hospitals will work in synergy with local civil medical authorities and designated Indian Council of Medical Research laboratories. Also, regular health education and counselling activities will be carried out at all military stations.

    The multi-nation naval drills were to be staged off the Vishakhapatnam coast from March 18 to 28. The Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses deferred a key security conference scheduled for next week due to the Covid 19 scare that was scheduled to take place in New Delhi on March 12-13.

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