Balasore: Nine Railway Protection Force (RPF) staff, part of a 26-member team to New Delhi from Kharagpur division in West Bengal, have tested positive for COVID-19.
The nine included a 32-year-old constable posted at Balasore in Odisha. He is undergoing treatment at Ashwini COVID Hospital at Cuttack.
A brief on the RPF staff returnee from New Delhi and subsequent detection of COVID-19 positive among them:
- A team of 26 RPF staff (Including 1 IPF+ 1 SIPF) went to New Delhi for critical task regarding security from KGP division on 19-03-20 (Reached Delhi on 20-3-20).
- While the team was still at New Delhi, lockdown was enforced. They stayed at Dayabasti RPF campus in Delhi.
- After movement of Parcel Trains started they departed from New Delhi on 13-04-20 and arrived at HWH station on 14-4-20. This was with permission of authorities in RPF and was undertaken in view of importance of their task.
- At HWH they were picked by RPF truck which dropped them at various locations as per their barracks by evening.
- As per protocol all staff coming from other states are being quarantined for 14 days which was followed and they were accordingly quarantined at their respective Barracks or, at empty Railway quarters. RPF barracks have made arrangements for this since the start of Pandemic, with separate washrooms etc.
Further on morning of 15-4-20 Medical Authorities of KGP as well as state administration was informed of the same in writing (as most persons were quarantined at KGP). Medical officers visited some locations quarantined staff and were satisfied with the arrangements.
- On 20-04-20 one staff who was quarantined at RPF barracks Balasore was detected positive for COVID-19. Immediately all staff who returned from Delhi were shifted to supervised quarantines and concerned authorities were informed.
- RPF staff have been briefed in detail about the danger and precautions regarding the pandemic from the very beginning and repeatedly. All staff use masks and maintain social distancing.
- Quarantines at Barracks are under strict supervision of concerned IPFs and as of yet no reports of quarantine violations by any staff have been received.
- RPF staff in KGP division have been serving food to about 1000+ needy persons mainly at Tikiapara, Shalimar, Santragachhi, KGP and Balasore, everyday since start of lockdown with strict social distancing and safety precautions which is for all to see.
- Samples of all the staff and their primary contacts (2 staff who travelled in same parcel train during their return) have been collected for testing. Out of 13 results obtained so far 11 have tested negative while 2 have tested positive. (One at ULB and one at MCA)
- Secondary contacts have been traced and quarantined.
- In view of this, rumours that RPF staff violated quarantine and roamed around are completely baseless and unfortunate.
- In spite of the precautions ULB barracks have been contained as quarantine centres as recommended by the local administration and staff of MCA post have volunteered for self-isolation and testing.
- All cooperation has been shown to authorities regarding any information or inspection with complete transparency.