HP NEWS SERVICE
Shillong, Jul 2: With as many as 150 Border Security Force (BSF) troopers slated to return to Meghalaya, the State government has taken steps to ensure that this does not in any way lead to the spread of Covid-19.
It may be noted here that the number of Covid-19 positive cases surged in Meghalaya after the return of BSF personnel to Meghalaya from other states of the country.
The BSF authorities have informed the State government that 150 of its personnel will be returning to Meghalaya with the expiry of their period of leave, prompting the State government in turn to ask the BSF to ensure that these returnees do not arrive en masse but rather in batches.
“Those who had gone for leave are returning to the State to resume their duty, but they will not be allowed to return at the same time,” the Director of Health Services (MI), Dr. Aman War said today.
He also said that the personnel who tested negative have to complete the quarantine period in Shillong and that they cannot move immediately to their respective place of posting in the international borders even after having tested negative.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government has asked the BSF not to provide wrong figures to the people of the State on Covid-19 positive cases, even as it maintained that so far only six positive cases have been detected from among the BSF personnel including the wife of a BSF trooper.
This came after the BSF Meghalaya Frontier claimed yesterday that there were eleven Covid-19 positive patients under its care, whereas the State government maintained that only five BSF personnel and one woman who is the wife of a BSF personnel had tested positive for Covid-19 in Shillong.
Reacting to this, Health Minister Alexander Laloo Hek said today that the number of Covid-19 cases is being confirmed by the State health department after testing the samples including those positive cases detected among the BSF personnel.
“We have told the BSF that the number of Covid-19 cases is being confirmed by the State government,” Hek said.
Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the State has gone up to 58 with two more high risk contacts of a positive case from Ri-Bhoi district testing positive for the virus today. With this, the total number of active cases has risen to 14.
While clarifying on the claim of the BSF, Dr. War said today that earlier the BSF Meghalaya Frontier had informed that some of the personnel had tested positive for Covid-19 on arrival in Assam because samples were collected from the BSF personnel who arrived at the Guwahati airport or railway station.
“Since those personnel are posted in Meghalaya they were sent to Shillong for quarantine in their own campus. However when we collected their samples and retested them in Shillong, they were all found negative,” Dr. War said while refuting the claims of the BSF Meghalaya Frontier headquarters.
Dr. War said that till date, only five BSF personnel and one lady who is the wife of a BSF personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 in Shillong.
“Therefore the number of positive cases given by the BSF is not correct and there is no controversy in this. We are not counting those who tested positive in Assam because they tested negative in Shillong,” Dr. War reiterated.
Dr. War also said that the BSF personnel who tested positive and are quarantined inside the BSF campus are following the protocols of the health ministry, while those staying outside the campus follow the protocols of the State health department.
He also informed that samples collected from the BSF personnel are sent for testing by the State government.