New Delhi: A former sailor of the Indian Navy in Mumbai with no travel history tested positive for Covid-19 last week, prompting authorities to carry out extensive monitoring of the residential complex where he stayed, ThePrint has learnt.
According to sources in the Navy, the patient has been admitted to hospital. He has been working with the Navy on a contractual basis and was staying in Navy Nagar.
“His building in Navy Nagar is under quarantine and has been disinfected,” a Navy officer told ThePrint.
Located in Colaba, Navy Nagar is the prime residential area for sailors of the Indian Navy, while Navy officers stay in the adjoining Naval Officers Residential Area (NOFRA).
“Containment plan as per ICMR guidelines has been put in place. No personnel is allowed to travel in or out of the residential area except for very essential duties,” the officer told ThePrint.
The sources also said an advisory has been sent to all the occupants of the residential area, asking them to be alert, and monitoring is being carried out at all levels.
“His direct contacts have been traced and isolated immediately,” the officer quoted above said, adding the process of identifying indirect contacts is going on.
The sources said none of the family members of the patient have tested positive.
Also read: Avoid festivals, malls, set up isolation wards — how Army is preparing to fight coronavirus
‘Effective measures in place’
A second senior Navy officer said coronavirus infecting people in the military, which is an essential service, will affect the fight against the pandemic.
“The Covid-19 virus affecting personnel of these essential services will only erode the intensity of the fight against this contagion. Strong measures, even if drastic, are being taken after one ex-serviceman has been detected to have positive symptoms. Any further spread has to be arrested by isolation as serving personnel also reside in the Navy Nagar,” the officer said.
“If the virus was to enter the dockyard or to the ships, it could lead to trying times as is evident from what happened with US Naval carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Effective measures are already in place to ensure such an eventuality does not occur,” the officer added.
According to reports, Navy captain Brett E. Crozier, who was removed from the command of the coronavirus-hit aircraft carrier — U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt — has tested positive for Covid-19.
As of 6 April, 61 per cent of the Roosevelt crew have been tested for Covid-19 — with 173 positive cases so far. Additionally, 1,999 sailors have been moved ashore.
Navy help in fighting Covid-19
The Indian military has been assisting the civil administration in its fight against the pandemic by providing them isolation centres, testing facilities, among other things.
According to the Navy, a Dornier aircraft was sent from INS Hansa, Goa, to Pune Monday evening to bring Covid-19 testing kits.
The aircraft was also sent to bring Dr Dilip Hinge of the National Institute of Virology, Pune, to provide training to microbiologists at the virology lab of Goa Medical College.
“The Dornier aircraft from INS Hansa at Goa has undertaken four sorties to Pune to meet urgent requirements of transporting samples as well medical personnel for training,” the Navy said.
Also read: Indian military bans all non-essential foreign travel amid coronavirus pandemic