BSF area in Umpling now a containment zone

Move to prevent spread of virus as more cases surface

SHILLONG: The state government has declared the area where the BSF personnel are residing at Umpling as a containment zone.
AC Bhardwajan, Medical Superintendent of CAPF Composite Hospital, BSF while speaking to a group of reporters on Wednesday said that altogether there are 13 positive cases including 6 cases from the quota of Assam as they were tested positive in Guwahati.
He said that as on Wednesday, there are seven active cases in BSF Meghalaya frontier and they are from the quota of Meghalaya as two more personnel were tested positive on Wednesday.
Reacting to a query, the official said as per the protocol of the Centre, the person will be counted a case of that state where he was tested positive.
The official also added that the BSF personnel, who have tested positive after returning from holidays, are posted in Meghalaya.
On the other hand, Deputy Inspector General and PRO, BSF, UK Nayal informed that as and when the personnel return, their samples are collected at the transit camp in Guwahati and they are brought to the headquarters in a special vehicle and kept under quarantine awaiting results.
A different battle
The BSF in Meghalaya is fighting two parallel battles – one along the international border against smugglers and infiltrators while the other at its frontier headquarters against COVID-19.
Unlike those posted at the border, real guns have been replaced by spray guns and PPE instead of body armour as they strictly man the gates of the frontier headquarters in Shillong.
All of these after 1033 personnel returned to duties after leave.
The East Khasi Hills District Administration has declared the area where the BSF personnel are staying at Umpling as a containment zone to stop the further spread of the virus.
Health and Family Welfare Minister, Alexander Laloo Hek said that the decision was taken after two more BSF personnel tested positive on Wednesday.
He, however, said that it is not necessary to declare the BSF camp at Umpling as a containment zone since the place is already isolated. “We have declared only one particular area where the BSF personnel are residing at Umpling which is outside the BSF camp as a containment zone,” Hek said.
Earlier, Hek said that the total number of BSF personnel who were tested positive stands at five.
Meanwhile, Director of Health Services (MI), Dr Aman War informed that the two who were tested positive are among the high risk contacts of the BSF driver who was tested positive on Tuesday.
When asked about the contact tracing of the five BSF personnel tested positive, Dr War said that there were a total number of 87 high risk and low risk contacts of these BSF personnel.
It was also informed that the government has held a series of discussions with armed force authorities in Shillong with a direction to ensure that there is no spread of the virus among the civilians.
Out of the 55 positive cases, Hek informed that there are a total number of 12 active cases while 42 recovered and one died.
He said that the total number of samples which were sent for testing is 19,646 out of which, 19404 samples are negative and the results of 189 samples are awaited. Hek also informed that as many as 19,231 stranded citizens have so far returned to the state.

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