Agartala, May 10 : A BSF officer and 15 family members of personnel Sunday tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of infection cases among the troopers and their kin in Tripura to 148 in past nine days, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said on Sunday.
Deb, in a tweet, said that the 16 fresh cases were found in the Border Security Force's (BSF) 86th Battalion headquartered in Ambassa, the district headquarters of Dhalai, 82 km north of Agartala.
The 16 fresh cases included one officer, nine children and six women.
"Seventy five samples of jawans belonging to 3rd Battalion BSF (whose headquarters are at Nalkata in the same Dhalai district) tested, but all reports are found to be negative," said Deb, who also holds charge of the Health and Home Departments.
The Chief Minister said that no civilian living near the BSF Battalion headquarters was found positive yet.
According to Tripura's health officials, the 148 positive cases included 122 BSF personnel of the two battalions (86th and 138th) and 25 family members -- 14 children and 11 women as well as a civilian mess worker.
The headquarters of both 86th and 138th Battalions at Ambassa were earlier declared a "Red Zone" by the Union Health Ministry.
The officials said that most of the infected persons were brought to Agartala and are now undergoing treatment at the state-run Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital, a dedicated Covid-19 hospital.
Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Sanjay Kumar Rakesh said that the swab samples of most suspected jawans of the 86th and 138th Battalions have already been tested.
"Experts from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) would soon arrive in the state to study the huge coronavirus infection among the BSF jawans and their family members," Rakesh told IANS.
The NCDC is an expert body under the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry.