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Growing COVID-19 cases in security agencies alarm authorities

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By Purushottam P. Khatri
Kathmandu, July 29:

Coronavirus transmission rate has been increasing sharply among the security personnel in the recent days, who have to be deployed in the forefront to maintain security in the society.
According to an updated record as of Tuesday, a total of 387 security officials have tested coronavirus positive with highest rate of infection among officials of Nepal Police when compared to the officials of the Armed Police Force and Nepali Army.
On Tuesday alone, 23 Nepal Police personnel of the Headquarters tested positive for the coronavirus. With this, the total number of virus infected officials at the Police Headquarters reached 31 as of Tuesday, according to Senior Superintendent of Police and spokesperson at Nepal Police Headquarters Kuber Kadayat.
According to him, a total of 216 police personnel had so far tested positive for the coronavirus. Of the total infected, 99 had recuperated, while 83 are still in isolation wards.
All infected officials under the Headquarters will be taken to Balambu-based APF's Coronavirus Hospital, said Kadayat
According to a source, a police constable stationed at the Police Headquarters, who had returned from outside the Valley few weeks ago, has been identified as the main source of the transmission of the virus inside the Headquarters.
Similarly, 79 Nepali Army officials have tested coronavirus positive, according to Directorate of Public Relations and Information. Of them, 71 have so far been recovered and returned to their duty, according to Brigadier General and spokesperson of Nepali Army Headquarters Shantosh Ballave Poudyal. Of them, three army officials from the Kathmandu Valley were found infected with the virus and two are currently at APF Hospital and one is undergoing treatment at Birendra Army Hospital, Chhauni, he said.
Most of the infected army officials were found deployed in the management of quarantines across the country, he said.
Similarly, according to Armed Police Force Headquarters, a total of 92 officials have been infected with the virus. Of them, 65 have recovered and joined their duties. 27 others are still undergoing treatment, according to Deputy Inspector General and spokesperson of APF Headquarters Raju Aryal. He said mostly APF officials deployed in the border areas were found infected with the virus.
Last week alone, 20 APF personnel in Jhapa tested positive for the coronavirus, he said.
"The security officials, who have to be deployed in the forefront of maintaining security in the society, should maintain high precautionary and safety measures, if they fail to do so, the transmission rate may increase further and the situation worsen," former AIG Tarani Lamsal said.
Meanwhile, additional 16 police personnel of District Police of Syangja were tested positive for virus on Tuesday.