26 Navy personnel in Western Naval Command test positive for coronavirus

Topics Indian Navy | Coronavirus | navy

In a major development, 26 Indian Navy personne,l serving at the Western Naval Command in Mumbai, tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), triggering concerns among the top military brass. The Navy personnel are a part of INS Angre, a logistics and support facility of the Western Naval Command.

They are undergoing treatment at a naval hospital in Mumbai, a PTI report said quoting the sources. The Navy has launched a large-scale contact tracing operation to track the people who may have come in contact with the sailors.

Most of these cases are "asymptomatic" and primary cases, traced to a single sailor who tested positive on April 7. They are all residing in the same accommodation block at INS Angre, which has now been placed under containment. Besides the entire living block, the INS Angre too is clamped under a lockdown.

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It is the first such case of a sizeable number of military personnel being treated for Covid-19. The Indian Army has reported eight cases of the deadly virus so far.

"A total of 26 serving personnel have been tested positive for Covid-19 within naval premises at Mumbai. This number includes 20 sailors of INS Angre, a shore establishment," the Navy said in a statement.

There has been no case of coronavirus onboard any of the ships and submarines of the Indian Navy. On April 10, Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh had said that the force has to redouble the efforts in fight against Coronavirus as it the last bastion in the national effort against the pandemic.

"We are really the last bastion in the national effort against the pandemic," Admiral Singh had said in his address to his men.

He had also pointed that Coronavirus has had an unprecedented and extraordinary impact across the globe, as also for India. "We all have soon come around to realising that the danger is real, imminent and unprecedented," he said.

For the Navy, Admiral Singh said that they have taken certain measures in consonance with the government, including stoppage of recruitment and training; freeze on movements and transfers; stoppage of work, except those related to national security, health and essential services.

"We have only eight positive cases in the entire Indian Army. Of the eight, two are doctors and one nursing assistant. Four are responding well to the treatment," Army Chief General M.M. Naravane had said on Friday.

The Indian Navy continues to actively support the national effort in the fight against Covid-19.

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