Rising to the occasion, the Indian Army has today revealed its preparedness to deal with the deadly coronavirus crisis as it plans to keep 300 Indian returnees from the virus-hit Wuhan city of China. The Indian Army has set up a quarantine facility in Manesar in Haryana to keep 300 returnees from the Hubei province of China amidst the outbreak of coronavirus. Most of those returning are medical students studying in Wuhan and its surrounding areas.
2/3 – Some more detail here. pic.twitter.com/S1KkxTkbPa
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Revealing the quarantine process, the Indian Army stated that the procedure has been divided into two steps. The first one comprises of screening of the returnees at the Delhi airport followed by quarantine at Manesar facility. If any individual to be found to have contracted the coronavirus, he/she will be transferred to the isolation ward at the Army’s Base Hospital at Delhi Cantonment. The joint team of Armed Forces Medical Services and Airport Health Authority will preside over the screening of the returnees on Delhi airport.
In addition to that, Army plans to segregate the students flying back from Wuhan into three categories. The first group will have ‘suspect cases’, where any individuals with any symptoms of fever and/or cough and/or respiratory distress will be directly transferred to the Base Hospital.
The second group will comprise of ‘close contact’ in which any returnee without symptoms but who had gone to a seafood/animal market or a health facility in Wuhan or has come into contact with a Chinese person with symptoms in the last 14 days will be transferred in a designated vehicle right away to the quarantine facility.
In the third group, termed as ‘non-contact case’, the students without any symptoms or contact or who do not fit into either of the first two categories will be grouped with the close contact category and escorted to the quarantine facility.
Furthermore, the Army said that the facility has accommodation barracks for students, administrative areas and medical areas for students. To ward off a mass outbreak, the facility has been divided into several sections, each with a maximum capacity of 50 students. Each barrack is further divided into sub-barracks and students from one section will not be allowed to mingle with others.
A team of qualified doctors and staff members at the quarantine facility will monitor the returnees for a duration of two weeks to identify signs of infection. The medication of all students will be done at the medical facility area on a daily basis. The medical staff members along with doctors are strictly advised to wear all the personal protective equipment (PPE) all the time. After 14 days of monitoring, students with no symptoms will be allowed to go to their respective homes, with their detailed documentation sent to State/District administration for further surveillance.
An Air India flight was sent to Wuhan on Friday to bring back the stranded Indian students in the Chinese city which has been the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. The flight is expected to reach India on Saturday 2 AM. Government sources say that the plane is equipped with all the medical kits and other paraphernalia required to address any contingency. The Air India crew will not de-board in Wuhan and have been provided with safety masks and other protective equipment.