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Friday, May 29, 2020

Tripura: 24 fresh cases at BSF camp, total count 86; govt mulls new Covid-19 hospital

Coronavirus testing was conducted on personnel of BSF 86 battalion, deployed close to the badly affected 138 battalion in Dhalai districts, where the new cases were identified.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | Updated: May 8, 2020 12:10:43 am
Tripura, Sipahijala, Tripura COVID-19 Though BSF has claimed to have shut down all mass gatherings for the time being, the fresh cases show battalions deployed close to the affected one was also hit by the virus. (File/picture for representation)

Tripura Thursday identified 24 new COVID-19 cases at the BSF’s 86th battalion headquarters at Dhalai district in Ambassa, 100 km from here, close to the force’s 138 battalion where 62 patients earlier tested positive for the virus. The total count of COVID-19 cases in the state is now 88, among which 86 are active cases.

COVID testing was conducted on personnel of BSF 86 battalion, deployed close to the badly affected 138 battalion in Dhalai districts, where the new cases were identified.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb took to Twitter tonight and informed that no civilian has been infected.

Earlier this evening, Additional Chief Secretary SK Rakesh said 916 samples were tested from Dhalai district, including those of civilians and BSF jawans from the two battalions posted there “We are prepared even if the number of COVID-19 cases further rise in Tripura”, he said.

Dhalai district, where all active coronavirus patients came from, was earlier declared a ‘red zone’ and three locations in it, including BSF 138 battalion headquarters, a camp at Gandacherra village and Kareena Border Out Post (BOP) with Bangladesh were marked as ‘containment zones’.

Though BSF has claimed to have shut down all mass gatherings for the time being, the fresh cases show battalions deployed close to the affected one is also hit by the virus.

The Additional CS also informed that the state government was contemplating setting up an all-new COVID-19 hospital. He, however, said it would take up to six months’ time.

“We are going for a new facility and it will take six months time. We are trying to locate a building which can be converted into a COVID-19 hospital. The director health services are working on that note and soon we will have the hospital ready”, he said. Tripura already has a dedicated COVID hospital, a COVID health centre and a separate COVID care center for milder cases.

The official also informed that if COVID figures go up, the existing corona-treatment infrastructure at GBP hospital would be upgraded. The hospital now has 80 beds in the COVID section, which might be increased to 100.

IGM Hospital has 30 beds while a hospital at BSF Frontier headquarters at Shalbagaan has 35 beds on standby. If figures rise further, BSF patients are likely to be shifted there.

The state health department has identified a few places at Udaipur, Rajnagar in Gomai district and Dharmanagar in North district where limited beds are available.

The government is also working on an alternate testing system usually used for TB testing like geneexpert and truenet to test coronvirus.

Intensive sampling is being followed in all three containment zones and anyone with even the mildest contact history with affected jawans or anyone showing flu-like symptoms are being tested for coronavirus.

As per latest reports, 7,552 samples were collected throughout Tripura and 6,893 of them were tested. and 64 samples have tested positive in state. So far no civilian has tested positive and a total of 673 tests are being done on Thursday which includes samples of the civilians”, Rakesh added.

Among the active cases, a few including a 2-year old child of BSF personnel have tested negative in recent reports. However, the government doesn’t want to take any chances and would be retesting all of them’, Rakesh said.

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