NEW DELHI: For the first time in the last one month, more paramilitary personnel recovered from COVID-19 than were found infected with the coronavirus, in a development that came as silver lining for the forces which have been seeing an increasing number of its personnel getting infected.
As many as 36 personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours, officials said on Thursday. They, however, added that 25 more personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total number of active cases in the central paramilitary forces to 824.
The CAPFs, with a combined strength of around 10 lakh personnel, are deployed for a variety of duties in the internal security domain and as border guards. These forces comprise the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
The highest recoveries of 21 personnel were reported from BSF, which also has the maximum number of COVID-19 cases amongst the forces. BSF also recorded 10 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday but with the recoveries, the total number of active cases came down from 303 to 292. The 2.5-lakh strong force guards the borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
"Since yesterday, 21 (Tripura-14, Kolkata-6, Delhi-1) earlier tested COVID-19 positive BSF personnel have been discharged from hospitals after being tested negative. They have been put under quarantine as per the protocol. These 21 are in addition to earlier three (Tekanpur-2, Delhi-1) cured cases," BSF said, in a statement.
The highest number of 12 fresh cases of the infection were reported in ITBP but the force also recorded an equal number of recoveries since Wednesday. The number of active cases in the nearly 90,000-strong force is 158. All cases of coronavirus in ITBP are from Delhi.
Three personnel belonging to CISF, the force responsible for manning high risk establishments, recovered on Thursday.
The Central Industrial Security Force and the Sashastra Seema Bal, reported no fresh case of the viral disease. The number of active cases are 106 and 20 in the CISF and the SSB respectively.
The country’s largest paramilitary, the Central Reserve Police Force, with 3.25 lakh personnel, had three fresh infections--all cases from Delhi. The number of active cases in the force now is 248.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases in the CAPFs, has become a serious concern for the security grid. Six troopers—three from the from the CISF, two in the BSF and one from the CRPF have died due to the COVID-19 disease.