BSF jawan succumbs to Covid-19; 14th death in CAPFs

A 35-year-old Border Security Force (BSF) jawan has succumbed to coronavirus, taking the total number of fatalities in the force due to the pandemic to three, a senior official said on Wednesday.

This is the 14th Covid-19 death among the paramilitary or Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).

“Constable Vinod Kumar Prasad breathed his last on June 9 at AIIMS in Delhi.

“He was deployed for law and order duty with the Delhi Police and admitted to AIIMS on June 5 with weakness and cough,” a BSF spokesperson said.

Prasad’s Covid-19 test result came negative on June 6 but his condition deteriorated two days later and he breathed his last on Tuesday at the AIIMS ICU, he said.

The jawan’s Covid-19 test result of June 8 was found positive, he added.

Officials said Prasad did not have any comorbidity and was in Shape-I category.

Shape-I in security forces signifies the top and best category of health.

The officials said the jawan was the youngest to die among the CAPFs. All other fatalities were over 45 years, they said.

“The director general and all ranks of the BSF are grief-stricken over his untimely demise and offer condolences to his family members.

“The entire BSF family stands united with the bereaved family in these trying times,” the spokesperson said.

The about 2.5-lakh-personnel-strong force, tasked primarily with guarding Indian fronts with Pakistan and Bangladesh, has reported a total of 535 coronavirus cases till now. Out of these, 435 have recovered.

With Prasad’s death, there have been 14 casualties among CAPFs like Central Industrial Security Force (five), Central Reserve Police Force (four), Sashastra Seema Bal (one) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (one).

As per data accessed by PTI, till June 9, the five CAPFs and two other central forces — National Security Guard and National Disaster Response Force — had reported a total of 1,871 coronavirus cases.

While 1,217 troops have been cured or have recovered, 641 are under treatment, the data showed.

The first case in these forces, functioning under the Union home ministry, was detected on March 28.

These central forces, with a combined strength of about 10 lakh personnel, render a variety of security duties, law and order management, border guarding, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations, and disaster rescue and relief.

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