A revised protocol has been issued to contain spread of coronavirus in the armed forces which included exemption of 14-day quarantine period on specific conditions like commuting from one duty station to another without any stay in between and reporting back to units travelling by official transport, officials said on Tuesday.
The revised protocol, issued by the Director General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS) also recommended avoiding short duration duties of up to seven days unless deemed crucial for the interest of the services, they said.
The officials said the revised protocol has been issued in view of the evolving pattern of the pandemic, new evidence emerging from new research as well as response of the government on dealing with the infection.
Under the previous guidelines, all personnel coming to any military station from home or other stations were mandated to go for a 14-day quarantine period if they did not fulfil certain conditions, they said.
According to the new protocol, 14-day quarantine period will be exempted for people travelling to the duty stations utilising official transport or self-driven vehicles or travelling from one duty to another without any stay in between.
The exemption will be applicable for individuals who do not have any history of coming in contact with a high or low risk confirmed case or suspected COVID-19 case in the preceding 14 days of travel, the officials said. They said no testing will be required for individuals before or after quarantine if he or she is symptomatic.
The armed forces had issued detailed guidelines to insulate their personnel from the infection.
In March and April, the Army headquarters issued a series of directives with an aim to insulate the 13 lakh strong force from the coronavirus.
In April, the Army decided to classify all its personnel reporting back from leave, temporary duties and training courses into three categories of green, yellow and red as part of measures to check the spread of coronavirus.
The Army also placed all ranks of the operationally-critical Northern Command and personnel belonging to Army Medical Corps, Army Dental Corps and Military Nursing Service under "top priority" bracket.