No Covid-19 test needed before, after quarantine unless symptomatic: Revised policy for armed forces

NEW DELHI: Indian armed forces personnel, who need to be quarantined after coming back from leave or temporary posting, will not be required to undergo Covid-19 testing before, during and after the quarantine period unless symptomatic, according to a revised protocol.
The revised protocol, issued by the Director General Armed Forces Medical Services (DGAFMS), aims to contain the spread of coronavirus in the armed forces.
“As per the revised policy, Indian Army personnel will undergo 14 days of quarantine on returning from leave or reporting on temporary duty/permanent posting. They will not be tested before, during or after quarantine unless symptomatic,” Army Spokesperson Col Aman Anand said.
The revised protocol also recommended avoiding short duration duties of up to seven days unless deemed crucial for the interest of the services, officials said.
They said the revised protocol has been issued in view of the evolving pattern of the pandemic, new evidence emerging from new researches as well as the response of the government in 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.
According to the revised protocol, the 14-day quarantine at station facilities/ unit segregation/home will be continued as in vogue for all personnel returning from leave or temporary duty and reporting on permanent duty.
The 14-day quarantine period may be exempted on a case by case basis as per medical advice for asymptomatic individuals with no history of being in contact with a suspect, probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days before travel and those travelling from one duty station to another without any halts in between.
Those personnel who have travelled to the duty station using service aircraft, service transport or self-driven vehicle as well as those providing self-declaration certificate countersigned by the commanding officer, may also be exempted from the 14-day quarantine.
According to the revised protocol, no testing will be required before, during and after quarantine unless symptomatic.
In March and April, the Army headquarters issued a series of directives with an aim to insulate the 13-lakh-strong force from the novel coronavirus.

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