Four soldier craftsmen undergoing training at the Military Station in Vadodara have tested positive for COVID-19, Army officials said on Friday.
Defence PRO Wing Commander Puneet Chaddha confirmed that the personnel have been shifted to the SSG hospital for further treatment.
“The four personnel have been shifted for treatment at SSG hospital on April 22. All protocols and necessary actions have been taken by the authorities. About 48 others have been asked to self-isolate,” Chaddha said.
Earlier this week, the three soldiers, aged 32, 30 and two aged 29, were showing symptoms of the disease.
They did not have a travel history and were on training at the military station in Sama area of the city since February 20, officials said.
The Army also confirmed that there had been no visitors to the campus since February 20.
As per protocol, the officers were checked at the hospital in the military base from where they were referred to SSG for a thorough check up. A total of six officers were tested for Covid-19 until Friday, four of whom reported positive.
“Most of them complained of stomach upset, cough and mild aches. The doctor at the military base recommended that they must be sent to the civil hospital for a thorough check-up. At SSG, the authorities recommended the COVID-19 test and they were confirmed positive on Wednesday night,” an official told this newspaper.
A day later, on Thursday, three others reported similar symptoms and one officer was having fever. Of the three, a 30-year-old tested positive on Friday while the other two, including the officer running fever, tested negative. “They have been given treatment for their symptoms and asked to be in isolation,” an official said.
The VMC has also sanitised the premises of the military station, officials confirmed.
Additional Health Officer Dr. Mukesh Vaidya said that the VMC has not taken samples of the 48 quarantined personnel as they are all asymptomatic.
With no specific source of infection in sight, VMC health officials said that it could be cases of “fomite transmission” — when the pathogen remain on a surface that can cause infection when touched.
All the four personnel are undergoing training in various EME (Electronics and Mechanical Engineers) courses in Vadodara and are working with weapons and equipment, which mostly have metal surfaces.
“We are tracing contacts of the positive patients and quarantining them if they are asymptomatic,” Vaidya said.
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