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20 Indian Navy personnel test positive for coronavirus, more results awaited – ThePrint




INS Angre, a stone frigate under the Western Naval Command in Mumbai |
INS Angre, a stone frigate under the Western Naval Command in Mumbai |

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New Delhi: A total of 21 sailors at the INS Angre, a stone frigate under the Western Naval Command in Mumbai, have tested positive for Coronavirus.

ThePrint had late last night broken the story that 20 sailors had tested positive at INS Angre.

A former sailor of the Indian Navy in Mumbai with no travel history had earlier tested positive for Covid-19 on 7 April.

In an early morning statement, the Navy said the 21 confirmed cases of Navy personnel in Mumbai include 20 sailors of INS Angre, a shore establishment.

“Most of these are asymptomatic and have been traced to a single sailor who was tested positive on 07 Apr 20. They all reside in the same accommodation block at INS Angre,” the statement released by the Navy said.

 It added that all primary contacts (though asymptomatic) were tested for Covid 19.

“Entire in-living block was immediately put under quarantine – containment zone and INS Angre too is under lockdown,” it said adding that all actions as per established Covid-19 protocol are being taken.

“There are no cases of infection onboard ships and submarines,” it said.

The sailors, who have tested positive for coronavirus, are now in quarantine and under treatment at the INHS Ashwini, a naval hospital in Mumbai.

Navy sources told ThePrint that the sailors were living in what is known as the “bachelor accommodation” and there was no travel history outside India.

The bachelor accommodation refers to dormitory-like spaces where all the sailors were living together.

Navy sources said that 15 of the 20 who have tested were “asymptomatic” – meaning that they did not show any sign of being infected with the virus.

“As a precautionary measure we aggressively tested everyone who were first contacts. Also the tests were carried out in private labs to fasten the process,” a senior Navy official told ThePrint.

Also read: Lockdown slowing virus spread, Covid-19 cases doubling in 6.2 days instead of 3, says govt

Navy awaiting formal tests results of more personnel

Sources said that had the Navy gone about with the protocol of testing those who were showing symptoms, then the positive cases would have come to just 5.

They added that the Navy is awaiting formal tests results of more personnel.

The test results of the 20 sailors came late Friday evening.

The sailors who have tested positive work at multiple and scattered outlying units and simply share accommodation at INS Angre.

Those who stay there include married men but with waiting periods of housing extending to as high as two years.

A stone’s throw away are docked the naval ships with thousands of men living in their depths even when in harbor.

The high number of positive cases has come as a big shock to the Navy establishment which had already issued a number of orders to prevent it.

The primary concern for the Navy was the prevention of the outbreak of any such case on board a ship.

The ships carry a large number of personnel in cramped spaces and hence any positive case on board a ship can quickly spread.

The US navy has been reeling under a severe onslaught of coronavirus which has led to the resignation of the Acting Navy Secretary.

ThePrint had on 25 March reported about the protocols put in place by the Navy. This included cancellation of all port calls by the ships which are operationally deployed until it is very necessary.

Earlier in March, the Navy had also postponed its largest-ever multilateral naval exercise, Milan, involving over 30 countries due to the coronavirus threat.

The exercise from 18 to 28 March has been postponed taking into consideration the safety of all participants and travel restrictions imposed by the spread of Covid-19.

Also read: IAS, IPS, IFS exam could be delayed, UPSC to take call after 3 May when lockdown is lifted

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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