CRPF Director General AP Maheshwari and Home Ministry's senior security advisor K Vijay Kumar along with a few other officials have gone into self-isolation after coming in contact with the force's chief medical officer, who has tested positive for the deadly coronavirus infection. According to reports, both the CRPF DG Maheshwari and MHA security advisor Kumar had come in indirect contact with the CRPF CMO. Apart from them, at least 20 other individuals have been asked to stay in quarantine for 14 days as a precautionary measure.
"An officer of the CRPF who was deputed with K. Vijay Kumar was staying in the same complex as the CMO. He and all those who he was in contact with have been put under quarantine," news website The Print quoted a source as saying.
As of now, it was not clear how the CMO contracted the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19 disease. The medical officer was staying in the Officers' Mess in Delhi's Saket area. Additional Director General (Ops), Inspector General (Medical) and the Deputy Inspector General (Ops) are among the other CRPC officials who are in self-quarantine for two-weeks.
Coronavirus rapidly spreading in India
The highly contagious novel coronavirus, which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS-COV-2 or COVID-19, has claimed more than 64,000 lives and infected over 12 lakh people across the world. In India, the virus has been spreading rapidly in the absence of effective screening and tracing of suspects. So far, more than 3,500 cases of coronavirus infection have been detected in India with 99 deaths and 229 recoveries.
The virus, which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, has shifted its epicentre to the US which has the highest number of infections. More than 306,000 people have tested positive in the United States and over 8,300 have died, according to a Reuters tally. White House medical experts have forecast that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could be killed in the pandemic, even if sweeping orders to stay home are followed.
However, some experts believe that India could be the next epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic given the country's poor healthcare system. The Indian Chest Society (ICS) has evaluated that India is likely to witness the peak of coronavirus in terms of positive cases by the end of April.