Pune: Indian army chief General Manoj Naravane on Saturday said the military is playing its part in containing the novel Coronavirus epidemic, which has achieved “global proportions” and become a “major threat” to the world.

The Indian army has set up a quarantine facility in Manesar near Delhi for those evacuated from China’s Hubei province.

On Saturday morning, an Air India jumbo B747 plane, evacuating 324 Indian nationals from the novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China, landed in New Delhi.

When asked about the army’s role in setting up the quarantine facility in Manesar, general Naravane said the coronavirus epidemic has reached global proportions.

“The coronavirus has achieved global proportions and we all view it as a very major threat to the world. So to that end, all nations have to come together to put in possible measures required to make sure that this threat/epidemic is contained in the best possible way and [kept at] the lowest level, and to that end, we are also playing our part,” the general said.

General Naravane was speaking to reporters here in Maharashtra on the sidelines of the bicentenary event of the Bombay Engineering Group, also known as Bombay Sappers.

The death toll in the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak in China has risen to 259 with the total confirmed cases surging to 11,791 amid stepped up efforts by a number of countries to evacuate their nationals from Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus.

Speaking on the role of engineers, the army chief said warfare in the future will become more technical and network-centric.

“Not only engineers but all of us will have to keep adapting to the changing nature of warfare, and to that end I feel that engineers have a big role to play in the future, where they will have to absorb new technologies and move with the times,” the top commander said.

The army chief said “capacity building” is an ongoing process, when asked about the role of engineers in the infrastructure-related works along the borders.

“We will continue to improve our capacity in the future. Whenever a construction work such as road, bridges or barracks is involved, engineers will have a major role to play,” added the chief of the army staff.