A single unit of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) in Hingoli district has hit the headlines for reporting 83 COVID-19 cases.
Most of the personnel, who were deployed in Malegaon and Mumbai from late February, were found COVID-19 negative in the first round of tests conducted immediately after they returned to their unit headquarters in Hingoli on April 19 and 20. They were found positive in the second round of tests.
Till Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in SRPF is 160. Other than Hingoli, cases among SRPF personnel have been reported from Mumbai, Malegaon, Pune, Thane and Jalna. The 83 personnel of Group 12 of SRPF are from two companies, with a total of 194 men.
Manchak Ippar, commandant of SRPF Group 12, said, “Prior to their arrival, we had made preparations to completely isolate the two companies as a precautionary measure. After their arrival, while none of them showed any symptoms, we took the decision to get them tested in consultation with the district collector and the civil surgeon. Their test results came back on April 21. Five personnel from one company and one from the second one tested positive, while others tested negative. Those who tested positive were further isolated and the remaining personnel were kept under observation.”
After some of the personnel started showing symptoms and were tested on April 24 and 27. Their results were positive. On April 28 and May 1, all the men from the first and second companies were tested again and among them, 26 and 36 personnel, respectively, tested positive.
“We have reasons to believe that all the infections source back to places of deployment. Almost all of them are asymptomatic and few of those who have pre-diagnosed medical conditions have been shifted to Aurangabad for advanced care. All of them are out of danger,” said Ippar.
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