Coronavirus cases in central paramilitary forces continued to climb as 44 fresh infections were reported on Friday even as 20 ITBP and BSF personnel were discharged upon recovery from their speciality hospital in Greater Noida, officials said.
The total number of active COVID-19 cases, as per data, in the five forces of CRPF, BSF, ITBP, CISF and SSB stand at 848. Forty-four fresh cases were reported on Friday apart from some recoveries, they said.
Seventeen personnel of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and three of the Border Security Force were discharged on recovery after an event was held at the solitary Referral hospital of these forces in Greater Noida near here.
The chief of the two forces, SS Deswal, addressed these personnel and asked them to not forget the lessons taught by COVID-19 pandemic, like having a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious food and ensuring physical fitness to combat diseases.
The director general of the two forces asked the recovered personnel to ensure four things in the future -- physical distancing, sanitisation of the surroundings, personal hygiene and exercising.
"You picked the virus during duty in containment zones and other places. There is a danger of contracting the virus but as you all know there is nothing to panic or fear about."
"It is your determination and the resolve of our doctors and paramedics that you recovered in no time," Deswal told the troops.
He asked them if they were well and ready to join their duty again, which was replied to with a loud yes from the troops.
The DG told the men that obesity was a major reason for bad health and hence asked them to ensure that they eat nutritious food and undertake regular exercise, and that they should also make their families aware about these attributes.
The DG said the doctors of these forces, known as the Central Armed Police Forces or paramilitary forces, were fighting an "invisible enemy" and they have done a commendable job.
"The pandemic has taught us to respect the nature and our health and also to change our lifestyle. I assure all our CAPF troops that we have the required capability to treat everyone of us and their families," Deswal, a 1984 batch IPS officer, said.
About 180 personnel and their family members are at present admitted in this CAPF hospital.
Meanwhile, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) saw 14 fresh cases of coronavirus infection in its ranks, with maximum 8 being reported from its unit that guards the Mumbai international airport and one from the Garden Reach Ship Builders and Engineers Limited (GRSEL) in Kolkata.
The GRSEL is a warship building defence PSU and has a total of 39 CISF personnel infected, apart from an official who succumbed to the disease early this week.
The overall deployment of the central force at this strategic base on the banks of the Hooghly river is about 400 personnel.
The overall active cases in the about 1.62 lakh personnel strong CISF is 119.
The Pakistan and Bangladesh guarding force BSF saw 11 fresh cases and its active COVID-19 cases are 290 now, the highest among the CAPFs.
The country's largest paramilitary force, the 3.25 lakh personnel strength CRPF, saw eight fresh cases and has 279 active cases.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police, that guards the 3,488 km long Line of Actual Control with China, reported two fresh infections, bringing its active cases to 151.
The Sashastra Seema Bal, primarily tasked to guard Indian borders with Nepal and Bhutan, saw nine fresh cases and has 29 active cases.
These forces, about 10 lakh in combined strength, function under the Union Home Ministry for rendering a variety of internal security duties and have suffered six COVID-19 deaths till now.