Covid-19 lockdown: Indian Army to observe 'no movement' till April 19

A medical staffer holds the hand of a patient, in the ICU of the Bassini Hospital, in Cinisello Balsamo, near Milan, Italy, Tuesday, April 14, 2020 | Photo: AP/PTI
The Indian Army has issued detailed instructions to its personnel and formations in compliance with the country's second phase of lockdown which lasts till May 3.

All military establishments, cantonments, formation headquarters and units will observe strict "No Movement" till April 19 and only personnel connected with provision of essential services will be allowed to move in this time period.

However, this will not hinder any operational tasks of the formations or units which will be conducted with the requisite strength.

As per the instructions, till April 19, within the Army Headquarters (HQ), only the Military Operations, Military Intelligence, Operational Logistics and Strategic Movement branches will function, to carry out operational and Covid-19 related tasks. However, duration of stay and strength within these branches will be at bare minimum.

The remaining branches will work from home and any specific task can be handled on a case to case basis. These orders will remain valid till 19 April 2020.

Within the Command Headquarters, only manpower, logistics and operations branch will function with skeletal staff, barring Northern and Eastern Command, where additionally the intelligence branch will also function.

From April 19 to May 3, offices in Army HQ, Command HQ and formation HQ 'may' start functioning at 50 per cent strength.

The Directorate General Medical Services (Army) will continue functioning at full strength to provide a robust response to Covid-19. All medical establishments and hospitals will continue functioning at full strength.

All training activities and temporary duties will remain suspended till May 3. Directions on actions to be taken post May 3 will be issued on receipt of fresh orders from the government.

As per the instructions, all social, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious gatherings to be suspended till May 3. No religious congregations, regimental or ceremonial functions will be permitted.

The offices falling in 'Hotspots or Containment Zones' will observe strict "No Movement" till they are denotified. Exceptions to be given will depend on the local military authority.

Railways to run two trains to meet military requirements

Amid lockdown over coronavirus pandemic, Indian Railways has decided to start two special trains for military to meet operational requirements of Indian Army at northern and eastern borders, force said on Thursday.

Indian Army is also coordinating with the railway ministry for plying of additional trains for military purposes in coming weeks.

"To meet the operational requirements of Northern and Eastern borders, two military special trains are planned to be run," Indian Army stated.

The force said that that both the trains for military purpose will start from Bengaluru. The first train will start on April 17 and reach Jammu and the second train will start on April 18 for Guwahati.

The route planned by the Indian Army is that the first train will start from Bengaluru and will have stoppage at Belgaum, Secundrabad, Ambala and terminates at Jammu.

The second train will start from Bengaluru and stop at Belgaum, Secundrabad, Gopalpur, Howrah, New Jalpaiguri and terminates at Guwahati.

"This will enable decongestion of category A and B training establishments at Bangalore, Belgaum, Secundrabad and Gopalpur as well as assist in operational preparedness of active formations deployed in the borders," sources in Indian Army said.

The force said that the personnel due to rejoin units deployed in northern and eastern borders have undergone mandatory quarantine period and found medically fit. They will be now accommodated.

The force also stated that "further coordination with Ministry of Railways is in progress for planning additional trains in coming weeks".

The Indian Armed Forces have been at the forefront of the government's fight against coronavirus.

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