26 Indian Navy personnel placed in isolation after testing positive for covid-192 min read . Updated: 18 Apr 2020, 10:36 PM IST
- All the sailors found infected were at the INS. Of the total, 20 sailors are of INS Angre
- Indian Navy ‘remains combat-ready, mission-capable and is in full readiness to partake in the national mission to fight the pandemic as well as to provide support to our friendly neighbours in the IOR’
NEW DELHI : Twenty six personnel of the Indian Navy have been placed in isolation after testing positive for covid-19 in Mumbai, a person familiar with the development said on Saturday revising the earlier number of infected of 21.
Though the discovery has set off alarm bells in the Indian defence establishment, the Indian Navy has quickly moved to reassure the country that unlike in the case of the US and France where covid-19 cases were discovered on frontline warships, not a “single case of Covid-19 onboard any ship, submarine or air station of the Indian Navy."
“The Indian Navy is committed to containing the spread of the infection to the maximum extent possible and remains operationally prepared as always, to meet any challenges in the maritime domain," the person cited above said.
All the sailors found infected were at the INS Of the total, 20 sailors are of INS Angre, a shore establishment at Mumbai, the person said. The INS Angre is a shore-based facility that provides logistical and administrative support to the Western Naval Command.
This is the first time the navy has reported cases of the pandemic. The Indian army has so far reported eight positive cases.
“The detection of these Covid-19 cases is a result of meticulous contact tracing and aggressive screening and testing carried out by Western Naval Command after one sailor tested positive on 7 April," the person cited above said adding, “All these sailors continue to remain asymptomatic and are being monitored at Indian naval hospital Asvini under the care of the best medical professionals."
Since the first sailor tested positive for the SARS-CoV2 virus that causes covid-19, the entire premises of the unit was sealed off and containment zones and buffer areas designated, the person said. “Frequent disinfection continues to be carried out as per protocol to contain spread by breaking the chain of transmission," the person said.
All other areas within naval premises have been under strict lockdown and stringent quarantine and safety protocols have been enforced for personnel and their families, with door to door screening being undertaken for identification of more cases, the person added.
On the preparedness of the Indian navy, the person said that Indian Navy “remains combat-ready, mission-capable and is in full readiness to partake in the national mission to fight the pandemic as well as to provide support to our friendly neighbours in the IOR (Indian Ocean Region)."
“Our assets continue to remain on patrol covering a vast oceanic swath from the Straits of Malacca in the East to Bab-el-Mandeb in the West, including undertaking Operation Sankalp to provide reassurance and protection to our merchant vessels and Anti-piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden," the person said.
“All missions for coastal and offshore security continue as before," the person said, adding that “Naval aircraft have undertaken many missions flying supplies and personnel aiding state governments."
In India, cases have surged to 14,378, with death toll at 480, according to data from the ministry of health and family welfare. With more than 3,000 coronavirus cases, Maharashtra is the worst-hit of all states, and Mumbai, its capital, the worst-affected city in the country.
In France, more than 1,000 crew members onboard the French Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its support ships have tested positive for covid-19 while some 660 crew members of the US Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, now docked at Guam in the Pacific, have tested positive for the disease that has infected over 2.24 million people worldwide and has claimed over 154,000 lives.