How Army And Navy Are Keeping Republic Day Parade Participants Safe
(This News Article Is Originally Posted on The Print by Snehesh Alex Philip)
From the Navy booking 14 hotels in Delhi’s Karol Bagh to the Army creating a bio bubble in the heart of the cantonment in the national capital, armed forces are taking every step to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic as they prepare for the Republic Day parade.
An additional task cut out for those involved in the planning of the parade was to ensure that the Bangladeshi contingent taking part in it remained safe amid Covid.
“It was a herculean task as the contingents and bands came from across the country. But we have managed to ensure that everyone is safe,” Chief of Staff, Delhi Area, Major General Alok Kacker said, replying to a query by ThePrint on how tough the Covid challenge was.
He was briefing reporters on the preparations for the Republic Day parade on 26 January.
In November, when the Army contingent and bands started arriving in the capital, a total of 260 tested positive, out of about 3,000 who had landed.
“The Delhi area was the first to set up quarantine facilities. We ensured that all soldiers were tested and those who were positive were treated,” Kacker said.
He also mentioned that the Army had created a bio bubble at the parade ground in the Delhi Cantonment to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
‘Here To Have A Better Friendship’
The Navy, meanwhile, booking 14 hotels in Karol Bagh to house sailors, who have come from across the country.
Navy sources said one of the hotels was turned into a central kitchen, which served meals to everyone in other hotels.
“Dedicated buses are there for them to be picked up and dropped back from training. Nobody steps out because of the Corona pandemic,” a source said, explaining the steps taken to counter the pandemic.
The over 120-member Bangladeshi delegation was tested for Covid before they left for India, and they have been put up in a five-star hotel and every Covid protocol is being followed.
“We are here to have a better friendship,” said Colonel Mohtashim Hyder Chowdhury, who led the delegation.
The Modi government had last month kicked off the celebrations to mark the golden jubilee of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
On 16 December — the day when Bangladesh got liberated in 1971 — Modi lit the ‘Swarnim Vijay Mashaal’ from the eternal flame of the National War Memorial in New Delhi, marking the beginning of the golden jubilee celebrations.