Fifty National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel deployed for relief efforts during Cyclone Amphan in West Bengal have tested positive for COVID-19, according to officials. They also said that more than 170 personnel have been tested for coronavirus till now after they returned to their base in Odisha's Cuttack from the cyclone-hit West Bengal.
According to agency reports, the personnel belong to the NDRF's Mundali battalion based at Cuttack. These personnel were tested on the basis of contact tracing after one of them deployed in West Bengal was found infected a few days ago.
DG NDRF, Satya Narayan Pradhan tweeted, "In view of inquires it is informed that on testing of NDRF personnel in Odisha after return from Cyclone Amphan duties 50 were found positive of nearly 190 personnel tested for COVID19. So far all these personnel are asymptomatic and under observation."
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@ndmaindiapic.twitter.com/KoAZ1Oi6pr— ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ଯପ୍ରଧାନ-DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) June 8, 2020
According to another senior federal contingency officer quoted by PTI, more tests are being done. All the team members were quarantined at the NDRF campus whereas those found positive for coronavirus were sent to hospital isolation facilities.
NDRF had deployed 19 teams in West Bengal for relief and rescue efforts during the super cyclone that made landfall on May 20. Each team comprises about 45 personnel. More than 5 lakh people were evacuated in the state whereas 1,58,640 people were evacuated in Odisha.
(With agency inputs)Also read: One-third of people in hotspots may have infected, recovered from COVID-19: ICMR report