Chhattisgarh: 443 security personnel found Covid-19 positive till now
The raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Chhattisgarh is spreading as 443 security personnel, including jawans of paramilitary forces deployed in the Communist Party of India (CPI)-(Maoist)-hit districts in the state, have been reported to have contracted SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease, the police data showed.
A police official said 114 personnel and officials from Chhattisgarh Police have tested Covid-19 positive, while another 329 jawans of paramilitary forces have also been infected.
In the old Police Headquarters (PHQ) of Chhattisgarh, which is located in Raipur town, 26 police personnel tested Covid-19 positive and another seven attached to the new PHQ in Naya Raipur.
“Raipur has reported the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases among the state’s law and order personnel. So far, 38 and 34 personnel of Chhattisgarh Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), respectively, have tested Covid-19 positive in Raipur alone,” said a police official.
Paramilitary forces, including CRPF, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Border Security Force (BSF), are deployed in nine Maoist-hit districts in the state, including seven in the remote Bastar region.
“In the Bastar region, 193 officials and jawans of paramilitary forces have tested Covid-19 positive to date, of which Dantewada district accounted for the maximum number of cases at 41,” said the official while citing most of the infected personnel had joined work after their leave and belonged to various states across the country.
Sunderaj P, inspector-general (I-G) of police, Bastar division, Chhattisgarh, said the Covid-19 positive cases among paramilitary forces wouldn’t impact anti-Maoist operations.
“We have around 60,000 jawans of paramilitary forces deployed in the Bastar region. The Covid-19 positive cases reported among the forces won’t impact ant-Naxal operations,” the I-G said.
However, no police personnel has tested Covid-19 positive in Chhattisgarh’s Bemetra, Baloda Bazar, Bilaspur, Janjgir-Champa, Raigarh, Korba, Surguja, and Balrampur districts yet.
DM Awasthi, director-general of police (DGP), Chhattisgarh, said aggressive testing is being conducted among the personnel, who is in the frontline battling the pandemic, in a bid to prevent the spread of the viral outbreak.
“Police personnel is the frontline Covid-19 warriors, who are constantly undergoing tests. Swab samples are being collected on a daily basis and they have been instructed to take precautions for their safety,” the DGP said.
Earlier, Niharika Barik Singh, health secretary, Chhattisgarh, had written to CRPF, CISF, BSF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Indian Army and Service Selection Board (SSB) authorities to ensure strict compliance with the quarantine protocols.
An order has been issued that whenever personnel returns to the state, they must be compulsorily quarantined for 14 days and Covid-19 tests conducted, and information about their health condition should be shared regularly with respective district collectors.