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Tripura seeks NICD�s help to stem COVID-19 spread

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, May 9 - Rattled by the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the Dhalai district, the Tripura Government has requested the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) to send an expert team to take stock of the situation and find ways to prevent further spread of the dreaded virus.

Thirty persons, including 25 from the BSF�s 86th Battalion, tested positive for COVID-19 in the State last night, taking the total number of cases to 118 and creating fear among the people.

Out of the total 118 cases, 116 are active while two persons have been discharged from hospital after treatment.

Additional Chief Secretary SK Rakesh told media persons today that the State Government has requested the NICD to investigate the matter because it is the competent authority to do so. �We are expecting an expert team from the NICD soon since the issue is sensitive and requires a thorough investigation,� he said.

The fresh COVID-19 cases were detected among the personnel of the BSF�s 86 and 138 battalions at Ambassa in Dhalai district. Both the battalion headquarters have been declared as containment zones.

A truck driver is also among the new cases. �Even as a large number of BSF personnel were infected by the deadly virus, there is no transmission among civilians,� Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb had told reporters earlier at the Civil Secretariat here.

Sensing trouble, the Government has declared the Saheed Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel near the Civil Secretariat as a dedicated COVID care centre in a bid to augment the number of beds for COVID treatment. It will function under the supervision of the GB Pant Hospital, which is a designated COVID-19 hospital. There are 300 beds at the Saheed Bhagat Singh Hostel. Rakesh said mild and asymptomatic patients would be kept at the hostel.

Following this development, the total number of beds for COVID-19 patients in the State now stands at 410, including 80 at the GB Pant Hospital and 30 at the IGM Hospital. The beds for COVID-19 patients have been increased keeping in mind the outbreak in the BSF headquarters at Jawaharnagar in Dhalai district.

Meanwhile, 17,000 people from Tripura who are stranded in 11 States due to the lockdown, have registered their names for returning to the State. The State Government recently launched an online portal to bring back the stranded people.

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