Agartala: Tripura government has forwarded the inquiry report of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) team to the Union ministry of home affairs, said chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb here on Monday.
Speaking at a press conference, Deb said that the national medical team found that social distancing and mandatory quarantine were not followed by the battalion.
“The observations of NCDC team had revealed that the jawans with travel history did not follow the quarantine guidelines, following which the virus had spread,” Deb said.
Out of the total 316 positive cases reported so far in state, around 163 jawans and their family members had tested positive for the virus from the 138th and 86th BSF based in Ambassa under Dhalai district of Tripura.
He also said that since the BSF comes under the home ministry, the inquiry report was forwarded to the ministry for necessary action.
Earlier, Tripura government had asked the inspector general (IG) of BSF, Tripura frontier to submit an inquiry report within seven days. Unable to submit full report or confirm the source, the state had requested (NCDC), an expert body under Union ministry of health and family welfare, to probe the spread of COVID-19 among them.
Accordingly, a central team from North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong, led by Professor GK Medhi, arrived in Agartala and after investigation submitted their report to the state with their observation and suggestions.
“I was told that the commandant of the 138th battalion was removed and transferred from there following the investigatio,” Deb added.
He also said that the BSF jawans returning from outside would have been tested even at a ratio of 10:1 in the months of February and March.
“The chances of tracing the virus would have been more if they would have followed the norms, even the spread of the virus could have been averted in the entire BSF battalion,” Deb said.
Speaking about the community transmission, Deb said that so far no community transmission is reported in the state and it is not likely to be reported as people have become very conscious about COVID-19.
“I have visited many blocks and villages under in Sepahijala district to inspect the preparedness. People in the rural areas are more aware of the virus than people living in the urban areas,” Deb said.
He also said that people in the rural are strictly following the rule, which was required to contain the spread. The community transmission is not possible since the people are very aware of the situation. The family heads are forcing the children to abide by the quarantine protocol,” Deb added.