Agartala: At least 31 COVID-19 patients, who were being treated in a temporary care centre here, have escaped from the facility, following which the Tripura Police launched a massive search operation, an official said on Thursday.
All the coronavirus-positive patients, who fled the COVID care centre at Panchayat Raj Training Institute (PRTI) in Arundhatinagar area on Wednesday night, are residents of other states, Sadar Subdivisional Police Officer Anirban Das said.
"We have informed all the police stations about the incident and alerted the railway authorities since they have come here from other states. We have initiated a search operation to trace them," he said.
All of them have come here for a physical test for recruitment to two India Reserve (IR) battalions and tested positive for COVID-19, the officer said.
He also said security arrangements were in place at the main gate of the centre, but the COVID patients escaped from the backside of the facility by climbing the boundary wall.
West Tripura District Magistrate Shailesh Kumar Yadav said the facility has 65 beds, and there were 56 COVID patients.
Meanwhile, the Tripura government has made it mandatory for people coming to the northeastern state to carry a COVID-19 negative report from April 24, otherwise, they have to undergo a rapid antigen test.
"All the passengers entering the state have to produce a COVID negative report or undergo a compulsory test. This measure was taken to contain the spread of the deadly virus," Family Welfare and Preventive Medicine Director Dr Radha Debabarma said.
Tripura's COVID-19 tally rose to 34,262 on Thursday as 76 more people tested positive for the disease, a health department official said.
The northeastern state now has 524 active cases, while 33,242 people have recovered from the disease and 391 died.