Kathmandu: Under the direction of the government, the Nepal Army has been working at the forefront to prevent and control the rapidly spreading Covid-19 virus.
Since the government decided to open 10 of the borders with India and China on Monday, the army has been responsible for carrying out four to five different types of tasks. A cabinet meeting held on Monday limited the 20 previously open borders to 10 in order to prevent further risk and transmission of the virus.
Nepal Army teams have been deployed to the 10 checkpoints, where they have been managing the movement at the border, keeping people from India in holding centers and then escorting them back to their districts.
Similarly, a Nepal Army team has also been deployed for the security of quarantine camps. The army is working at these camps throughout Nepal in coordination with the federal, state and local levels.
Nepal Army’ Spokesperson Santosh Ballav Poudel informed that passengers from third-world countries are being taken from the airport to any of the seven holding centers in the valley, which are under the management of the army.
“The army team has been working closely with the local level. Similarly, they have been working in the management and disposal of the bodies of those who have died from the infection,” said spokesperson Poudel.” “We have been delivering medical supplies with the help of army helicopters and sky trucks.”
Risk of coronavirus in the army:
So far, 224 corona infections have been confirmed in the Nepal Army. Spokesperson Poudel said that the army is at risk of coronavirus infection as it has been deployed in extremely high-risk areas.
He said that out of the infected, 78 have been discharged after treatment and 146 are still being treated in isolation. However, all of the infected are in stable conditions. Two army personnel who were deployed to manage the corpses of those who died from infection have also tested positive for the virus.
“In the beginning, two people from Kathmandu and Birgunj were infected because they were not taking the necessary precautions,” said Poudel. “But now we are managing the corpses very cautiously.”
According to Spokesperson Poudel, the virus has been transmitted from quarantine centers and prisons to the Nepal Army. He says that quarantine soldiers are the most infected. Earlier, the government had decided to deploy troops to large projects and prisons.
Along with the decision to deploy the Armed Police Force and Nepal Police at the border and quarantine centers, the Army has also been deployed to guard prisons. Spokesperson Poudel confirmed that the coronavirus has spread from prisons to the army.
Precautions in the barracks
The military says it has taken “extreme precautions” to protect its barracks from being infected with the coronavirus. Spokesperson Poudel informed that the protocol issued by the Ministry of Health has been followed to protect the barracks from further transmission.
“We have taken security measures inside the barracks as per the protocol of the Ministry of Health,” said spokesperson Poudel. “We have been using sanitizers, masks, maintaining physical distance, disinfecting the barracks, building quarantines in the barracks, using personal protective equipment (PPE), and even taking precautions not given by the Ministry of Health.”
In addition to controlling the virus, the Nepal Army has also been at the forefront of disaster management. Spokesperson Poudel said that the army has been working to rescue the missing in the recent floods and landslides, treat the injured, clear the roads blocked by the landslides and help with reconstruction in various places.
The army has also been at the forefront of disaster management, relocation, and flood relief.