A three-member central team that is in Tripura to investigate the source of coronavirus outbreak in BSF camps, where 156 cases have been identified till date, visited the state-run GB Panth Hospital and a few other COVID-19 care centres at Agartala. The team termed the measures taken by the state government “satisfactory so far”.
Earlier, BSF was asked by the state government to hold an internal inquiry to find out the source of outbreak from the force’s three battalions deployed in Dhalai district that has been declared a ‘red zone’.
However, after they were unable to confirm the source of outbreak, the government approached the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), an expert body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to probe the spread of COVID-19 in BSF camps.
A central team from North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS), Shillong, led by Professor GK Medhi, arrived last evening at Agartala.
Speaking to reporters after visiting GB Panth Hospital Friday, Professor GK Medhi, Head of Department of Community Medicine and team leader said that they met Additional Chief Secretary SK Rakesh, AGMC Principal Dr Kamal Krishna Kundu and visited different sections of Agartala Government Medical College, the only authorised COVID testing facility of Tripura.
“We have also visited parts of Dhalai district yesterday. We are planning to visit again tomorrow. Till now, actions taken by the government are satisfactory”, Professor Medhi said.
Later in the evening, Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath informed that the central delegates met state government officials, officers from BSF frontier headquarters at Shalbagaan, visited dedicated COVID-19 hospital set up at GB Panth Hospital and a 300-bed COVID care centre at Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel in Agartala.
The team would visit Dhalai district and start field investigation there tomorrow, the minister said.
Nath also informed that the state government has decided to take stern action against those who violate quarantine regulations.
“Samples would be collected randomly. We shall make sure nobody put under home quarantine goes out and their families also stay under quarantine. Violators would be facing strict legal action”, the minister said. A corona-jail will be identified to accommodate them for the time being, he said.
Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had earlier warned of legal action for violating home quarantine rules. “…Those who have been advised home quarantine are requested to follow the norms or else may undergo up to 6 months imprisonment,” he had tweeted.
According to latest reports, 12,667 out of 15,902 persons put under surveillance for COVID-19 have completed their 14-day observation and were discharged; 3,235 persons are currently under quarantine, including 300 housed in different quarantine centers and 2,935 under home quarantine.