Atleast 150 National Guard deployed by the United States Government to Washington, D.C., the country’s capital, to provide security for President Joe Biden’s inauguration have tested positive for coronavirus.
It was learnt that the number of officers already confirmed to have tested positive to the virus could increase considering community transmission of COVID-19 within the law enforcement personnel.
The personnel were said to have been deployed for the inauguration following the deadly attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 by supporters of former President Donald Trump, including fences topped with razor wire and checkpoints manned by national guard.
To prevent a repeat of the action during the swearing-in ceremony, the U.S. government imposed unprecedented security measures in the city to ensure that the inauguration is hitch-free.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the number of national guard troops who tested positive could rise but was still a small fraction of the more than 25,000 troops deployed in city over the past few days.
In a statement on the contraction, the National Guard said that it would not discuss coronavirus cases, but personnel were following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, including temperature checks when they left their home state and arrived in the city, along with a screening questionnaire.
The United States reported more than 4,000 daily deaths from COVID-19 for a second consecutive day on Thursday, according to a Reuters analysis of public health data, bringing the cumulative number of U.S. lives lost to almost 410,000.
The military has said arrangements were being made for thousands of troops to return home, and that about 15,000 are expected to leave Washington within the next five to 10 days.
Some 7,000 National Guard personnel are expected to stay at least through the end of the month, officials have said.
About 5,000 troops are expected to stay through mid-March, but that number and time period could change.