Agartala: Another 24 persons from the 86th Bn headquarters of the Border Security Force (BSF), which is close to the 138th Bn of the security force where 62 patients tested positive till Wednesday, were found to be infected with the novel coronavirus aka COVID-19 in Dhalai district of Tripura on Thursday.
With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state has risen to 88 so far. A total of 78 BSF jawans have tested positive in the last five days, first 12 and then 13 cases on two consecutive days, followed by 22 on Wednesday. These also include five family members and a mess worker.
Taking to Twitter, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb confirmed the development, “Alert! 24 persons from 86th-Bn #BSF Ambassa found #COVID19 POSITIVE today Total #COVID19 patients in Tripura now stands: 88
Active cases: 86
There is no POSITIVE case among civilians.
Stay Safe.Updated at 10.30 pm / May 7 #TripuraCovid19Count”
Speaking at a press conference, additional chief secretary SK Rakesh said that the Tripura government is prepared if the number of COVID-19 cases increases further in the state. “After the two patients tested positive, a total of 916 samples have been collected from Dhalai district including samples of civilians and BSF jawans from the two battalions,” Rakesh said.
He also said that intensive sampling is underway across the three containment zones and anybody having contact history or symptoms of COVID-19 is being tested. “A total of 7,552 samples have been collected, of which 6,893 were tested and 64 tested positive in the state. So far, no civilian has tested positive and a total of 673 tests are being done on Thursday which include samples of civilians as well,” Rakesh added.
Speaking further, he said that the BSF’s 138th battalion headquarters had 298 jawans and officers and 72 families which have been tested and all the reports have come either positive or negative.
“86 bn is deployed close to 138 bn at Dhalai and testing is being conducted on their personnel too. Samples of 298 jawans and 104 family members have been collected. By and large testing of the highly suspecting group is over. On Thursday a total of 891 samples have been collected and vigilance is on across the containment area”, Rakesh said.
When questioned about the preparedness, the additional chief secretary said that the numbers have increased all of a sudden but the authorities are prepared. “We do expect that the virus will not spread outside since it is contained within the headquarters of 138 battalion and neither it has spreader to the BOPs, adjacent 86 battalion or the civilian area”, Rakesh added.
He also said that of the 22 cases reported on Wednesday, among the three children, one is two and a half years old. “The kid has tested positive for COVID-19, while both of his parents had tested negative for the virus on Tuesday. We have admitted the kid in BSF hospital separately and hiss samples will be tested once again to verify if there was any mistake in the report,” Rakesh said.
Meanwhile, all 263 passengers who had travelled from Kota, Rajasthan presently in quarantine would be released after the reports tests negative. “The drivers of the buses who drove from Rajasthan to Agartala will leave on May 10 with over 170 residents of Rajasthan stranded in Tripura. However, some of them have refused to travel back to the home state,” Rakesh added.
He also informed that COVID-19 hospital has a capacity of 80 beds which can go up to 100. The other COVID care centre in IGM hospital has 30 beds which can handle patients whenever required, he added.
The health department has identified hospitals in three locations — Udaipur in Gomati district, Rajnagar in South Tripura district, Dharmanagar in North Tripura district, having 10 beds each. “The chief minister on Thursday has requested the health ministry to provide another real-time PCR machine for testing the COVID-19. Once we receive that machine we will use that in Dharmanagar in North Tripura since the many people travel are coming from that part,” Rakesh added.
The state’s first positive case was reported on April 6 after a 45-year-old woman from Gomati district tested positive with travel history to Assam’s Guwahati. Meanwhile, the second case was reported on April 10, after a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) jawan tested positive for the deadly coronavirus. Both the positive patients have travel history by the same train on April 19.