Guwahati/Agartala/Aizawl, Aug 10 (IANS) As coronavirus spreads across the northeast, nearly 3,800 central security force personnel have so far infected by the disease in almost all the states in the region, officials said on Sunday.
According to the health officials, the eight northeastern states have so far recorded around 75,000 Covid-19 cases, including 57,714 in Assam.
Of the 3,800 Covid cases among the central armed forces personnel, the highest number are in Nagaland, at 1,226, followed by 823 in Manipur, 738 in Arunachal Pradesh, 360 in Tripura, 350 in Mizoram and 300 in Meghalaya. Many of their family members, including children, were also infected.
A significant chunk of the coronavirus patients among the central forces are from the Border Security Force (BSF). Two BSF jawans in Tripura and one in Meghalaya also succumbed to the highly infectious virus.
Many Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and National Disaster Response Force personnel have also tested positive for coronavirus.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga even made a plea to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure suspension of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) movement into the state till August 31, noting that around 70 per cent of Covid-19 positive cases in the state are from the military and paramilitary forces.
A senior BSF official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS that the BSF men and other central force personnel, after completion of their leave period or when they are transferred, have to move by train or by air for their destinations from different parts of the country. “During transit or in their hazardous duties along the borders or various vulnerable places, the jawans come in contact with the dreaded virus,” the official said.
As the eight northeastern states share over 5,000 km of borders with China, Myanmar Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and some are also battling against terrorism, there is a heavy deployment of armed forces as well as central paramilitary forces in the region.