49 personnel of National Disaster Response Force test Covid-19 +ve in Odisha

Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | ByDebabrata Mohanty | Edited by Ashutosh Tripathi
Jun 08, 2020 10:42 PM IST

The personnel belonged to the 3rd NDRF battalion at Mundali in Cuttack.

At least 49 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), who had returned from West Bengal after Cyclone Amphan restoration work, have tested positive for coronavirus in Odisha, said officials.

All NDRF personnel who tested positive have been quarantined at the campus at Mundali in Cuttack. (HT respresentative photo)
All NDRF personnel who tested positive have been quarantined at the campus at Mundali in Cuttack. (HT respresentative photo)

The personnel belonged to the 3rd battalion of the NDRF at Mundali area of Cuttack.

NDRF sources said the 49 jawans who tested positive today were part of the 173-member force that had gone to Bengal for Cyclone Amphan relief and restoration work and returned to Odisha on June 3.

“On June 3, one of the personnel showed Covid-19 symptoms and tested positive. He was admitted to Ashwini Hospital in Cuttack. Afterwards, the swab of all the jawans of NDRF who had gone to Bengal were tested. The swab results of 49 tested positive,” said an NDRF official in Mundali.

All those who tested positive have been quarantined inside the NDRF campus at Mundali.

In addition, 376 personnel of the Odisha Fire Services and 271 of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force were also sent to West Bengal for relief and restoration works. The results of their swab samples are yet to be received.

NDRF officials said the force has developed a new Standard Operating Procedure for its personnel and victims during floods in the light of pandemic guidelines. Odisha has provided free Covid-19 test for the NDRF personnel deployed for Amphan. The government had supplied 60,000 normal PPE to the NDRF and two sets of customised PPE per person.

Meanwhile, two jawans of the military wing of Proof and Experimental Establishment, a unit of DRDO at Chandipur in Balasore district tested positive for Covid-19. The jawans had gone to Kolkata where they were tested during health check-up at Command Hospital, Kolkata. Three others who also visited the hospital have been isolated there.

Associate Director of PXE, HS Panda said the PXE has been shut down and the campus, including the office premises, has been sanitised. Its employees have been advised to work from home and stay in isolation. Eight jawans of Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, who had been to the military camp of PXE, are now in quarantine. ITR has been declared a containment zone.

The total number of cases in Odisha surged to 2,994 today.

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