BSF defied COVID-19 norms, 162 troopers, kin among infected: Tripura CM


 Violation of COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing has taken place, Tripura Chief Minister Bipalab Kumar Deb said here on Monday, attributing it to the spurt in coronavirus cases among the Border Security Force personnel and their family members.

Quoting a report of a central expert team, Deb said the report submitted to the state government points at violation of social distancing and quarantine norms by the BSF that has led to the spread of the COVID-19 disease among the para-military personnel and their kins.

The Chief Minister told the media: “We have sent the central team report to the union Home Ministry. I have learnt that the Commandant of the 138th BSF (Border Security Force) battalion was replaced after the outbreak of the disease.

“As the BSF jawans and their family members came from different parts of the country, they should follow the COVID-19 guidelines including social distancing and quarantine norms.”

In all, 135 BSF officers and troopers, 26 family members and a mess worker of the two battalions (138th and 86th) have been infected by the coronavirus.

However, all the BSF men and their kin, including children and women, recovered from the disease and they are now undergoing extended quarantine period in the battalion headquarters at Ambassa (in northern Tripura) and nearby areas.

After the outbreak of COVID-19 among the BSF troopers and their family members, the Tripura government had asked the National Centre for Disease Control to study the outbreak among the para-military personnel.

A three-member central team, led by G.K. Medhi, Professor and Head of the Department of Community Medicine of the Shillong-based North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences after an 11-day visit and studying the source and other aspects of the infection among the BSF troopers in Tripura, on May 24 submitted their report to the state government.

Tripura so far has tested 321 COVID-19 positive cases and 173 of them, including 162 BSF men and their kins, recovered from the disease.

“COVID-19 community spread is not possible in Tripura as people are very conscious about the disease. Besides the BSF, the return of 14,000 stranded people to Tripura caused the tally to peak,” said Deb, who also holds the Health Department.Agartala,(IANS)