Cases of novel coronavirus soared in the central paramilitary forces with more than 300 personnel being infected and thousands others placed in quarantine, officials said on Tuesday.
Over 50 personnel of these forces, tasked with various internal security and border guarding duties, are now being treated at CAPFs' 200-bedded Referral Hospital located in Greater Noida.
"The Referral Hospital has been designated as a dedicated COVID-19 medical centre. An excellent team of specialist doctors is treating all admitted CAPF jawans 24x7 as per medical protocols at the hospital. They are well equipped with personal protection equipment," ITBP and BSF Director General S S Deswal told PTI.
"All jawans coming in contact with affected personnel are being put into quarantine facilities," he said.
A senior official said over 300 personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been found positive till now.
"Some have been cured. Thousands others are in quarantine after contact tracing of the infected personnel," he said.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), primarily tasked to guard the Line of Actual Control with China, witnessed a steep increase in these numbers, from 21 to 45 positive cases in the last two days.
The force's maximum personnel, 43, are from its camp in south Delhi's Tigri, where the personnel are suspected to have been infected from a jawan working in the unit mess, who in turn might have contracted the virus from grocery sellers.
The other two personnel are from a unit that was deployed for law and order duties under the command of the Delhi Police.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has 158 COVID-19 positive personnel till now, with the maximum 137 from a battalion based in Delhi.
A 55-year-old CRPF official, who had comorbid conditions of hypertension and diabetes, was the first case of coronavirus death in these forces, last week.
The headquarters of CRPF, the country's largest paramilitary force, was sealed early this week after a personal staff of a Special Director General rank officer and another staffer were detected coronavirus positive.
The cases in border guarding force, BSF, has spiked to a total of 69 cases, with the maximum cases reported from a Delhi battalion deployed in the Jamia and Chandni Mahal areas for law and order duties and from the frontier state of Tripura.
"Two personnel have recovered and all these troops contracted the infection while rendering essential and operational duties," a BSF spokesperson said.
Two floors of the BSF headquarters in the CGOs complex on Lodhi Road here were sealed on Monday after a staff member was found COVID-19 infected and the headquarters was shut for sanitisation.
"The Office (headquarters) will start functioning normally from May 6," he added.
Active infections in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) stand at about 15 cases, with six personnel serving at the Delhi Metro and three at the Indira Gandhi International Airport being tested positive.
The force is the national civil aviation security force with 63 airports under its security cover at present.
Eleven CISF personnel working at the Mumbai airport were infected last month and they have now recovered.
Thirteen personnel of the Sashastra Seema Bal, which guards the Nepal and Bhutan borders, are also COVID-19 positive.