NEW DELHI: Over 55 personnel of the country's elite counter-terrorist force National Security Guard (NSG) have been infected with COVID-19 so far, officials said on Monday.
Those infected with the coronavirus are "predominantly auxillary" or administrative staff working at the headquarters near Palam area in Delhi and the commando garrison in Manesar, Gurgaon, they said.
Top officials told PTI that all the combat elements that undertake specialist counter-terrorist, counter-hijack and hostage rescue tasks are "intact and fully available" for any contingency anywhere.
The 'black cat' commandos are ready for any task as per mandate, they said.
The 33-year-old nursing staff was the first to get infected with the virus in the first week of May.
Officials said at least 57 personnel of the federal commando force have been found infected with the disease so far.
Some among them have recovered while some personnel among the positive cases were asymptomatic and detected only after contact tracing and testing, they said.
All the infected NSG personnel have been admitted to various hospitals in the national capital and adjoining cities including at the Central Armed Police Forces Referral hospital in Greater Noida.
The force was raised in 1984.
The combat arms of the NSG are segregated into five units, two Special Action Groups (SAGs) manned by officers and jawans from the Army and three SRGs comprising personnel from paramilitary forces.
The SAGs undertake counter-terrorism and anti-hijack operations.
Some component of the special rangers group (SRG) also undertake counter-terrorist operations under the command of the SAG units and they primarily render VIP security duties for high-risk personalities.
The personalities include Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and chief ministers of various states like Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh, Sarbananda Sonowal of Assam and some former CMs like Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Three more people, including a deputy secretary and a member of the multi-tasking service (MTS), working in the Law Ministry have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said here on Monday.
With this, the total number of COVID-positive cases reported in the ministry goes up to five, they said.
According to a ministry memorandum, the deputy secretary and the MTS member tested positive for the disease on June 5.
An assistant (legal) had tested positive for COVID-19 on June 3.
The MTS member and the deputy secretary had last attended office on June 3.
The assistant (legal) had last come to work on May 29.
Earlier this month, a joint secretary had tested positive for the virus.
Last month, another official of the ministry was found infected.
The Law Ministry is housed on the fourth floor of the Shastri Bhawan, which also houses offices of several central ministries and departments.