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COVID-19 strikes Bru refugee camp in Tripura

Bru refugees at a relief camp in Tripura. File

Bru refugees at a relief camp in Tripura. File  

Man tests positive after reaching wife’s home at the Naisingpara camp

The novel coronavirus has struck in a relief camp for about 15,000 displaced Bru tribal people in Tripura’s Kanchanpur Subdivision.

The man, from the Damcherra area of North Tripura district’s Panisagar Subdivision bordering Mizoram, was prescribed home quarantine after he reached State capital Agartala in May-end. But his swab sample tested COVID-19 positive the day after he reached his wife’s house at Naisingpara relief camp on the morning of May 30.

Also read: Who are the Brus, and what are the implications of settling them in Tripura?

The camp is about 185 km northeast of Agartala.

“We have transported him to Agartala for treatment and his close contacts are being tested now,” Kanchanpur’s Sub-Divisional Magistrate Chandni Chandran told The Hindu on Monday.

“He came from Chennai, stayed at an Agartala quarantine facility for less than two days and gave his address as Damcherra but came to his wife’s house at Naisingpara without informing anyone,” she added.

The man is said to be a local Reang (another name for Bru) tribal although Damcherra, along with Naisingpara, has one of seven relief camps for some 35,000 Bru people displaced from Mizoram since 1997 due to ethnic clashes.

North Tripura district officials did not rule out the possibility of health teams not ensuring proper home quarantine for the Reang man.

District health officials said they have tracked the driver of a jeep who transported the man to Naisingpara along with two others. The other two were dropped at Damcherra, about 35 km from Naisingpara, where officials have also been alerted to the possibility of a community spread.

At Naisingpara, about 18 km from Sub-Divisional Headquarters Kanchanpur, health officials are awaiting results of family members and close contacts of the man who tested positive.

“Containing the Bru camp of 15,000 people with numerous jungle paths is too difficult a task. If any close contact or family member tests positive, it will be declared a containment zone. As of now, only the area around the house has been cordoned off,” an official said.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 12:18:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/covid-19-strikes-bru-refugee-camp-in-tripura/article31723147.ece

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