21 sailors of the Indian Navy in Mumbai have been tested positive for coronavirus. The sailors have been quarantined at a naval hospital in the city. This is the first set of coronavirus or COVID-19 cases being reported in the navy. A massive operation to trace people who may have come in contact with the sailors is on.
The Navy has made it clear that no officer or sailor serving on board any warship or submarine has been infected.
All 21 sailors reside in the accommodation at INS Angre, a shore-based depot that provides logistical and administrative support to naval operations of the Western Naval Command. Most of the cases are asymptomatic – cases that do not show symptoms of the infection – and have been traced to a sailor who was tested positive on April 7.
After the cases were detected, the entire block was immediately put under quarantine, the Navy said in a statement this morning.
The Navy is looking into the possibility of the men having moved around within the Navy facilities for essential duties even though the city is otherwise under lockdown. The Naval dockyard in Mumbai, which houses the bulk of the sword arm of the Western Naval Command including its warships and submarines, lies just a few hundred metres away from INS Angre.
The sailors, who have tested positive for COVID-19, are now in quarantine INHS Ashwini, a naval hospital in Mumbai.
INS Angre is also known as the Naval Barracks and provides various facilities to all ships and units based at Mumbai. The shore-based INS Angre is like a mothership which controls and oversees the functioning of a wide array of diverse units and facilities.
With 3,323 coronavirus cases, Maharashtra is the worst-hit state and Mumbai is is the worst-affected city in the country.
India has reported over 14,000 cases and 480 deaths.
There have been eight coronavirus cases in the Indian Army.
In France, 1,081 crew members onboard the French Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and its support ships have tested positive for COVID-19.
660 crew members of the US Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, now docked in Guam in the Pacific, have tested positive for the virus that has infected over 21.71 lakh people across the globe and killed over 1.46 lakh.