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AT LEAST 21 Indian Navy personnel serving at the western naval command in Mumbai have tested positive for COVID-19.

It is the first such case of a sizeable number of military personnel being treated for COVID-19.

The Indian Army has reported eight cases of  the deadly virus so far.

“A total of 21 serving personnel have been tested positive for COVID-19 within naval premises at Mumbai. This number includes 20 sailors of INS Angre, a shore establishment,” the Navy said in a statement.

There has been no case of COVID-19 onboard any of the ships and submarines of the Indian Navy.

The Navy said all the infected personnel are undergoing treatment at a naval hospital in Mumbai.

It said most of the people infected by the virus had come in contact with a sailor who had tested positive for COVID19 on April 7.

“They all reside in the same accommodation block at INS Angre. All primary contacts were tested for COVID-19. Entire in-living block was immediately put under quarantine,” the Navy said.

The INS Angre too has been put under the total lockdown.

Navy has ordered all its establishments to maintain highest precaution to protect the personnel from COVID-19, reports said.

Last week, Navy chief admiral Karambir Singh, in a video message, told his personnel that vital operational assets such as ships and submarines must remain free from the virus.

“The coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and it has never been seen before. Its impact has been extraordinary across the globe, including India,” he said.