As the number of positive coronavirus cases in India rises steadily, it has come to light that 26 Navy and 8 Army personnel are found to have the COVID-19 virus.
"The twenty six sailors who were placed in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 at Mumbai, belong to INS Angre, a shore establishment. There has so far not been a single case of Covid-19 onboard any ship, submarine or air station of the Indian Navy," the Indian Ministry of Defense said in a statement on Saturday evening.
INS Angre is the base depot or offshore administrative hub of the Indian Navy's Western Command headquarters in Mumbai city.
All affected sailors reportedly worked at the logistics department at INS Angre.
"The detection of these Covid-19 cases is a result of meticulous contact tracing and aggressive screening/testing carried out by Western Naval Command after one sailor tested positive on 07 April. All these sailors continue to remain asymptomatic and are being monitored at INHS Asvini military hospital," the ministry added.
All sailors who tested positive reside in the same accommodation block at INS Angre. The entire premises of the Unit has since been sealed off. Containment zones and buffer areas have been designated and frequent disinfection continues to be carried out as per protocol to contain spread by breaking the chain of transmission.
"All other areas within naval premises have been under strict lockdown and stringent quarantine and safety protocols have been enforced for personnel and their families, with door to door screening being undertaken for identification of cases if any," the Indian Navy said.
A day earlier, Indian Army Chief General M.M. Naravane said: "So far, we have only eight positive cases in the entire Indian Army. Of the eight, two are doctors and one nursing assistant. Four are responding well to the treatment.”
The first positive case in the Army was confirmed on March 18. "Now, he is fully cured and has joined duty," General Naravane added.
India has so far reported over 14,300 confirmed cases, of which 480 people have died.
There have been massive COVID-19 outbreaks onboard aircraft carriers in the United States and France.
Sailors of four US aircraft carriers have tested positive until now: USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Nimitz, USS Ronald Reagan and USS Carl Vinson, with the first ship being worst hit with 660 cases. “What we’ve found of the 600 or so that have been infected, what’s disconcerting is a majority of those, 350 plus, are asymptomatic,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on NBC on Thursday.
Meanwhile, 668 sailors aboard Charles de Gaulle carrier have tested positive for COVID-19 virus, even as test results of 30% of them remains pending.