On Tuesday, 88 samples were collected, of which 13, including a mess worker, were found positive for COVID-19, taking the total number of active cases to 42 in Tripura
On Tuesday, 88 samples were collected, of which 13, including a mess worker, were found positive for COVID-19, taking the total number of active cases to 42 in Tripura|Representational image
TRIPURA

Tripura govt calls for inquiry into COVID-19 spread in BSF unit

Probe order by Tripura govt comes after several jawans from BSF’s 138 battalion tested positive for COVID-19 within few days at Jawaharnagar in Dhalai district

Chandan Panday

Chandan Panday

Agartala: With the sudden rise in the COVID-19 positive cases in the 138 battalion of Border Security Force (BSF) at Jawaharnagar in Dhalai district, the Tripura government has asked the inspector general (IG) of Tripura frontier to submit an inquiry report within seven days, said state law minister Ratan Lal Nath.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Nath said that in a letter, written by Tripura principal secretary BK Sahu, the state government has requested IG Solomon Minz of frontier BSF to submit a report with information on the origin of the cases, steps taken by the security force to further prevent spread of coronavirus among the masses, etc.

The decision on Tuesday came after 25 BSF jawans from the same BSF unit tested positive within three days. Later in the night, 13 more, including a mess worker, were found to be infected with the deadly virus.

Chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb had announced Tripura a coronavirus-free state shortly after the two patients tested negative and were discharged on April 23.

However, on May 2, two BSF jawans were found COVID-19 positive taking the tally to four. “The health department had identified 34 close contacts with the first two BSF jawans among which 12 tested positive. Later, another 179 people were identified and tested, of which 13 of them tested positive,” Nath said.

On Tuesday, samples of 88 close contacts were collected, of which 13 jawans, including one mess worker were found positive taking the total number of active cases to 42.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,028 persons are under surveillance, including 855 in-home quarantine and 173 in facility quarantine. “A total of 6,287 samples have been collected and 5,820 samples have been collected and 30 tested positive till Tuesday evening,” Nath said.

The health department had also collected 60 samples from Dhalai hospital, including 56 health workers and four civilian patients were also tested and all of them tested negative.

The minister also informed that so far no community transmission has taken place in the state. “Decision to shift the COVID-19 positive BSF patients to the hospital in Salbagan headquarter is also being discussed. It is likely that all the BSF jawans would be shifted to the BSF hospital with all necessary medical kits,” Nath added.

When contacted, the BSF public relations officer (PRO) said that all activities, including PT, Sainik Sammelan and group gatherings have been stopped immediately.

“The entry of civilians has been stopped for the time being. No BSF jawan is allowed to interact with civilians, neither jawans staying outside nor at the headquarters with families are allowed to enter the camp,” PRO added.

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