The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has readied 19 quarantine centres across the country as coronavirus (COVID-19) spread rapidly. The centres have been placed at the disposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs, a senior official said.

The capacity of the isolation wards is around 2,000. They are located in Haryana, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Karnataka and Kerala.

The official said around 350 CRPF doctors were sent to these centres, having been trained in treating COVID-19 patients.

He said the CRPF had asked its personnel to declare if any of their family members had recently returned from a foreign country. “We got to know of 6-7 cases, and the families have been quarantined at these centres, though none has tested positive,” he said.

The official said some isolation wards were equipped with ventilators and the CRPF had placed an order for more. “We have an adequate stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and other medical staff. If need be, more will be procured,” said the official.

At some locations, pre-fabricated structures have been used to build the isolation wards, but mostly the existing structures near the CRPF camps have been designated as quarantine centres.

The CRPF has asked its personnel on leave not to report to duty before April 15. “We have reduced the number of administrative staff members and only the minimum number of employees is reporting to work. The financial powers have also been decentralised, and officers at the unit level have been empowered to make purchases,” the official said.

Earlier, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), deployed primarily along the border with China and in the areas affected by the left-wing extremism, was tasked to open a quarantine centre. It was established at the ITBP camp in Chhawla on the outskirts of New Delhi. The first batch of 103 people, who had been evacuated from Wuhan, China, on February 1, were kept here. So far, 1,023 individuals have been sent to this facility, and many have been discharged in phases after the mandatory 14-day quarantine period and medical tests.



News Source: The Hindu


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