After 26 sailors belonging to its shore establishment INS Angre were placed in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 in Mumbai, the Indian Navy today said its naval assets continued to be “mission-deployed” and “combat ready” and that it was “operationally prepared as always” to meet any challenges in the maritime domain.
“There has so far not been a single case of Covid-19 onboard any ship, submarine or air station of the Indian Navy. Our naval assets continue to be mission-deployed in three dimensions, with all the networks and space assets functioning optimally,” the Indian Navy, in a statement, said. “The Navy remains combat-ready, mission-capable and is in full readiness to partake in the national mission to fight the pandemic as well as to provide support to our friendly neighbours in the IOR,” it added.
Currently, Indian Navy’s assets continue to remain on patrol covering a vast oceanic swath from the Straits of Malacca in the East to Bab-el-Mandeb in the West, including undertaking Op Sankalp to provide reassurance and protection to India’s merchant vessels and conducting anti-piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden.
The Navy further said that all missions for coastal and offshore security were continuing as before and that operational units were being maintained in readiness by following a 14-day quarantine routine to meet immediate contingencies, including assistance to Civil Authorities and Friendly Maritime Neighbours.
The detection of these Covid-19 cases followed “meticulous contact tracing and aggressive screening/testing” carried out by Western Naval Command after one sailor tested positive on April 7. All these sailors who have tested positive for Covid-19 continue to remain asymptomatic and are being monitored at INHS Asvini.
The Navy said that ever since the sailor was tested positive for Covid-19, the entire premises of the Unit had been sealed off. “Containment zones and buffer areas have been designated and frequent disinfection continues to be carried out as per protocol to contain spread by breaking the chain of transmission,” the Navy said.
All other areas within naval premises have been under strict lockdown and stringent quarantine and safety protocols have been enforced for personnel and their families, with door-to-door screening being undertaken for identification of cases, if any, it added.
The Navy has also set-up several quarantine facilities in naval premises at Mumbai, Goa, Kochi and Visakhapatnam.