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.
In view of inquiries it is informed that on testing of #NDRF personnel in Odisha after return from #CycloneAmphan duties 50 were found positive of nearly 190 personnel tested for COVID19. So far all these personnel are asymptomatic & under observation. @NDRFHQ @ndmaindia pic.twitter.com/KoAZ1Oi6pr— ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ଯପ୍ରଧାନ-DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) June 8, 2020
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.