COVID-19: 17 quarantined in Army facilities test positive

Hamza Khan

Sources said the activities provided by Army for physical and mental well-being of the evacuees may have put them at risk.

With as many as 17 people in Indian Army quarantine facilities in Jaisalmer and Jodhpur testing positive for coronavirus, over a thousand others at these facilities now face the risk of the disease. As of Tuesday, nine people in the Jaisalmer facility and eight in Jodhpur have tested positive, according to the state health department.

As part of Operation Namaste, 1,036 people evacuated from Iran were brought to Rajasthan between March 15 and March 29. The first batch of 236 evacuees arrived at the Jaisalmer centre on March 15. A second batch of 53 people arrived on March 16 and the third batch of 195 on March 18.

The next batch of evacuees was brought to Jodhpur. On March 25, 277 evacuees were brought from Iran and another 275 arrived on March 29, taking the total to 552. All passengers were screened by medical teams upon arrival.

Sources said the activities provided by Army for physical and mental well-being of the evacuees may have put them at risk.

While all efforts were made to maintain hygiene, photographs and videos accessed by The Indian Express show the evacuees in close proximity of each other.

The authorities had made facilities for recreational activities of the evacuees, including football, carrom board, cards, badminton, etc. Moreover, namaz was offered in congregation. Then, the festival of Navroz was also celebrated in Jaisalmer on March 21: a high tea was organised in morning, apart from a feast in evening.