Army medic, noncommissioned officer testing positive for coronavirus

NEW DELHI: An army doctor in Kolkata and a non-commissioned officer (JCO) in Dehradun tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, increasing cases of confirmed cases in force from more than 13 lakh to three now.

Both the doctor, who is a colonel posted at the Kolkata hospital, and the JCO had traveled to Delhi in the second week of March before the, an official said.

The Army has carried out the necessary contact tracing of the two, quarantining those with whom they had been in contact for the past two weeks. The two are in good health and stable today, the officer said.

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The doctor had apparently reached Delhi on leave on March 10 before returning to Kolkata on March 17. He developed Covid-19 symptoms a couple of days ago, with his test coming positive on Sunday. The JCO, too, tested positive at the military hospital in Dehradun on Sunday.

The first confirmed case of coronavirus in the military was a 34-year-old soldier from Leh, whose father had returned from a pilgrimage from Iran on an Air India flight on February 27. The case had led to a virtual closure of the Ladakh Scouts Regimental Center there.

The Army has banned all entries and exits from the Ladakh Scout Regimental Center in Leh, which houses more than 500 people, as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, as TOI previously reported.

The Army, Navy and IAF, which together have around 15 lakh of personnel, previously ordered that all formations and units stop all mass non-essential gatherings such as festivals, welfare activities and parties, as well as traveling to foreign countries. All non-essential courses and training programs have also been canceled in view of the coronavirus outbreak.