21 Navy personnel in Western Naval Command test positive for coronavirus

The Navy said all the infected personnel are undergoing treatment at a naval hospital in Mumbai.
File Photo
File Photo

At least 21 Indian Navy personnel serving at the WesternNaval Command in Mumbai have tested positive for coronavirus, triggeringconcerns among the top military brass.

It is the first such case of a sizeable number of militarypersonnel being treated for COVID-19. The Indian Army has reported eight casesof the deadly virus so far.

"A total of 21 serving personnel have been testedpositive for COVID-19 within naval premises at Mumbai. This number includes 20sailors of INS Angre, a shore establishment," the Navy said in astatement.

There has been no case of coronavirus onboard any of the shipsand submarines of the Indian Navy.

A number of leading navies are grappling with thecoronavirus pandemic. A sailor on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraftcarrier, reported as many as 500 cases of the virus. The French Navy has alsobeen hit by the pandemic

The Navy said all the infected personnel are undergoingtreatment at a naval hospital in Mumbai.

It said most of the people infected by the virus had come incontact with a sailor who had tested positive for COVID19 on April 7.

"They all reside in the same accommodation block at INSAngre. All primary contacts were tested for COVID-19. Entire in-living blockwas immediately put under quarantine," the Navy said, adding the INS Angretoo has been put under the total lockdown.

Sources said the top defence ministry officials as well asthe naval headquarters are keeping an eye on the incident.

They said the Navy has ordered all its establishments tomaintain highest precaution to protect the personnel from COVID-19.

Last week, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh, in a videomessage, told his personnel that vital operational assets such as ships andsubmarines must remain free from the virus.

"The coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and it hasnever been seen before. Its impact has been extraordinary across the globe,including India," he said.

The danger posed by this disease is real, imminent andunprecedented, he noted.

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