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Army takes over management of India’s largest quarantine centre

Army takes over management of India’s largest quarantine centre
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CHANDIGARH, APR 19 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/19/2020 12:24:32 PM IST

The Indian Army has taken over the responsibility of managing the Narela Quarantine Center in Delhi during the daytime. The centre is among the largest in India for housing those suspected of having COVID-19.

“The army has taken the initiative to manage the facility completely under its arrangement from morning 8 AM to evening 8 PM pm and relieving the civil doctors and medical staff who are now required to manage the facility only during the night,” a senior official from the Army’s Western Command, Chandimandir, said here on Sunday.

An Army team, comprising of 40 personnel, including six medical officers and 18 para-medical staff, have volunteered to stay within the centre’s premises. A small team of army doctors and nursing staff have been assisting the civil administration at the centre since April 1.

Presently, 932 members of Markaz Jamaat are being housed in the facility and 367 have tested COVID-19 positive, the official said.

The Army had received a request from the Home Ministry to take over the medical screening at the Narela quarantine camp.

The Narela Quarantine Center was established by the Delhi Government in mid-March. Initially, 250 foreign nationals, returning from foreign countries, were kept in this centre. Between March 31 and April 1, an additional strength of approximately 1,000 members of Tablighi Jamaat were brought here from Nizamuddin Markaz.

An Army medical team, including two doctors and two nursing assistants, was deployed at the Narela camp earlier. This was the first instance of Army doctors being deployed to help civil administration to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.

Narela, incidentally, happens to be the site of a battle that took place in January 1757 between the Maratha Army, led by Antaji Mankeshwar, and an advance column of Ahmad Shah Abdali’s army, in which the Maratha Army had won.

Apart from providing medical cover with the civilian centre at Narela, the Army is also running its quarantine centres for civilians at Jodhpur, Jaiselmer and Manesar. This is in addition to quarantine centres set up at military stations for defence personnel. The other two services are also running their camps.

To cater for isolation and treatment (Including ICU-based care) for COVID-19 cases, orders notifying 50 Armed Forces hospitals as dedicated COVID hospitals and mixed COVID hospitals have been issued.

These hospitals have a combined bed capacity of 9,038 patients. Also, 100 medical officers from recruiting organisations are being detailed to work in hospitals where COVID wards are being established.

A list of retired AMC officers and paramedical staff has been readied who may be requested to volunteer for working in military hospitals at their current home stations in case the need arises. Forty-three officers and 990 paramedics have volunteered till date.

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