AGARTALA, May 7 - Twenty-two new COVID-19 cases were reported in the headquarters of the 138th Battalion of the BSF at Jawaharnagar in Dhalai district of Tripura last night, posing a grave threat to the State that was declared COVID-free some days back.
With the spike in cases since the last 24 hours, the State�s COVID-19 tally has now gone up to 64, which is the highest in the North East region. Of the total 64 COVID-19 patients in the State, only two have been released from hospital.
Treating so many patients has become a challenge for the State Government, with the BSF requesting for shifting all the COVID-19 patients to the GB Pant Hospital for proper treatment.
Though the BSF�s Composite Hospital at its Tripura Frontier headquarters has been designated as a COVID hospital by the Centre, it lacks necessary facilities. On the other hand, the GB Pant Hospital is struggling to accommodate all the 62 COVID-positive patients.
Additional Chief Secretary SK Rakesh, however, said that around 100 COVID patients could be treated at the COVID unit of the GB Pant Hospital.
Meanwhile, rattled by the outbreak, the State Government has decided to intensify testing in the three containment areas which have been notified as Red Zone to check further spread.
A total of 435 samples were collected from the containment zones and testing is being done at the GB Pant Hospital.
The samples were collected from the headquarters of the BSF�s 138th and 86th battalions, the administrative base at Gandacherra, and BOPs at Magzinepara Mogpara and Karuna.
Of the samples, 259 were collected from BSF jawans, 51 from villagers and 19 from residents of Mogpara. Samples of a BSF cook and a civilian family were also collected for testing.
Rakesh said the Government is not taking any chance. That is why the district administration has been doing as much testing as possible in the containment zones, he added.
�The State Government will help the BSF authority to turn its hospital into a full-fledged COVID hospital,� he said.
The official said 10 buses carrying students from Kota arrived at Churaibari on Thursday and all the students were sent to quarantine.
�Swabs of all 262 students and their guardians were collected and the test reports are expected by Friday. Necessary action will be taken on the basis of outcome of the tests,� Rakesh said.