Aizawl: Nearly 40 per cent of police personnel, who had gone to West Bengal and Assam and returned to Mizoram recently after elections duty, have so far infected with the novel coronavirus.

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State spokesperson for COVID-19 Dr Pachuau Lalmalsawma said on Saturday that at least 275 policemen, who have returned from West Bengal and Assam after poll duty, have so far tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 275 police personnel, 236 returned from West Bengal while the rest returned from Assam, he said.

According to Mizoram Inspector General of Police (Headquarters) John Neihlaia, at least eight companies of the Mizoram Armed Police (MAP) and Indian Reserved Battalions numbering about 705 were sent to West Bengal and Assam for state assembly polls, which concluded recently.

All the policemen returned to the state in April, he said. Neihlaia said that the police personnel are out of danger as most of them are asymptomatic. Some of them have already recovered from the infection, he added.

Pachuau Lalmalsawma, who is also the state nodal officer of Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), said that more than 340 children, including a 2-month old baby boy, have so far tested positive for COVID-19 during this year.

He said that the number of children infecting with COVID-19 increased this year, which is indicative of a wider community spread.

Mizoram is grappling with the second wave of COVID-19.

Since April 20, the state government has imposed lockdown-like restrictions and then lockdown in Aizawl and other district headquarters to break the chain of rising cases.

On Friday, the government announced a 7-day complete lockdown from 4 am of May 10 till 4 am of May 17 following the continuous spike in COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, 87 people were discharged from various COVID-19 Care Centres in several districts after having “recovered.”

The number of active cases has reduced from 1906 to 1,819, and the total recoveries have mounted to 5,546 on Saturday.

At least 17 people have succumbed to the infection so far.

Mizoram on Saturday reported 235 COVID-19 cases and the total count is 7,382.

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