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76 NDRF personnel test positive for COVID-19; 50 were on Cyclone Amphan duty

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New Delhi: 76 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), including 50 involved in Cyclone Amphan relief work in West Bengal have been tested positive for COVID-19. They were tested on the basis of contact tracing after one of them deployed in West Bengal was found infected a few days ago.

26 of the infected men are deployed in Delhi while some are attached to the headquarters. The rest 50 were tested positive while returning to their base in Mundali in Odisha’s Cuttack district which was among one of the affected places due to cyclone.

“All the NDRF men are asymptomatic and are under observation. The Odisha government had tested 190 personnel and of those 50 tested positive,” NDRF Director General Satya Narayan Pradhan was quoted as saying to NDTV.

On June 6,372 Odisha Fire Service personnel were sent to two quarantine centres in Bhubaneswar for 14-day mandatory isolation as part of the COVID-19 protocol. According to NDRF, one person has been admitted in the Aswini COVID Hospital in Cuttack and some others are in KIIMS COVID Hospital in Bhubaneswar. “There is nothing to worry. All 50 personnel are healthy. We hope they recover from COVID-19 soon,” said an NDRF spokesperson.

The NDRF had deployed 19 groups in West Bengal for reduction and rescue work throughout and after the cyclone that made landfall on May 20. Each group had about 45 personnel. It has also been understood that NDRF is testing its officers in different states as effectively.

However, officers mentioned some states have been charging cash for the checks. “Some states don’t charge anything while in others we need to pay as they (tests) are being done privately,” an officer of the federal contingency pressure mentioned.

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