Gangtok: Ten Sikkimese Indian Reserve Battalion (IRBn) personnel tested positive for COVID-19 at the Police Training School in Wazirabad, Delhi on Saturday. This is the biggest spike in cases from the 1st IRBn in Delhi, where three cases were recorded previously, with one recorded almost three weeks ago.
The positive cases came to light when one of the IRBn personnel with flu-like symptoms went to a nearby COVID Care Centre for testing on Friday. After he tested positive, nine other personnel from different barracks were then found to be positive on the Rapid Antigen Test.
IRBn personnel from Sikkim camped at the Police Training School claimed that not much attention is being given to their treatment and well-being, with inadequate food and sleeping facilities for patients.
EastMojo called up the commanding officer, identified as Commandant PVG Satish, who confirmed that 10 personnel tested positive on Saturday. He “The IRBn personnel need not be worried as the medical facility to be provided is on par with Central government or Delhi Police personnel, meaning it will be free of cost. The impaneled hospital for the IRBn personnel will be Fortis Hospital in Shalimar Bagh. Anyone with COVID concern will be taken there.”
On the isolation procedure for the 500-odd personnel under 1st IRBn in Delhi, the commandant said, “As per protocol, if someone tests positive, they are isolated at PTS Wazirabad’s COViD Centre. There is no training happening currently, so it has been converted into the isolation centre which is around 400 metres away from the camp. There they are kept under observation for almost 10 days. Before sending them back, they will be tested again. In 10 days if they develop any symptoms or need treatment they will be taken to any of the hospitals impaneled with us, all of which are under Delhi Government.”
All the 10 positive patients were inside the PTS Wazirabad, they were not on duty outside the camp, informed the commandant. “Some are in temporary guards, but they did not get the virus on duty. We have sanitized all the barracks after the spread. It was not random testing that happened but based on contact tracing that we found that 10 had tested positive. Around 500 personnel have all been tested, including me, no one has been left behind,” he added.
Most of the IRBn personnel were within the camp, with a series of Rapid Antigen Testing having been done weeks ago when the first case was recorded. In regards to the 10 personnel testing positive now, Commandant Satish said, “Not sure about the travel history, there is community spread, it cannot merely travel that can be ascertained as the reason for contracting the virus. It is not a case of panic, but something that has been contained”.
Delhi Government has also announced Rs 10,000 for such frontline workers as an incentive. So far, two personnel have received the incentive.
“In the camp, there is only one doctor who himself is a Sikkimese dentist, with fairly decent knowledge about COVID. He was taking care of us, but now the positive IRBn personnel has been taken to isolation. One of them called last night, they were complaining about food and sleep being concern with inadequate facilities inside the COVID centre. We feel there is not much attention being given to those that are COVID positive,” said an IRBn personnel from PTS Wazirabad.