Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral MS Pawar on Saturday confirmed that novel coronavirus cases have had no impact on the "operational capabilities" of the Indian navy after around 20 Navy sailors tested positive.
"COVID-19 cases have no impact on operational capabilities of the Navy as our warships, submarines and aircraft continue to be deployed in operations," Vice Admiral MS Pawar said on Saturday.
He also clarified that there were no cases on the Indian Navy's warships.
"We are also ready to help our neighbours, in case, they require any help," he added.
Earlier in the day at least 20 officials belonging to the Indian Navy tested positive for the novel coronavirus at a naval base in Mumbai. They are at present undergoing treatment at a naval hospital in the city.
The details were confirmed by Union Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Naik.
"20 COVID-19 positive cases have emerged from INS Angre depot in Colaba where 130 people were kept under quarantine. Patients have been shifted to the Indian Navy's hospital and are being treated. Others have been quarantined," he was quoted as saying by ANI.
According to an earlier ANI report, many of the affected individuals are asymptomatic. Reportedly, the cases have been traced to a single sailor who tested positive on April 7. They all reside in the same accommodation block at INS Angre.
India has so far recorded over 14,300 positive cases of the novel coronavirus, with 480 deaths. As per data shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of cases -- more than 3,300. Mumbai alone had recorded over 2000 cases.