Over 30 personnel attached to Naval Air Station INS Parundu in Ramanathapuram have tested positive for coronavirus, district officials said on Thursday, but the forward operating base was 'operational', defence sources in Chennai said.
While the district authorities put the number of infected at 33, defence sources said 'some' of the sailors, most of whom had arrived there recently on postings, have been affected with the virus.
They said that as per standard protocol, such personnel are quarantined and tested for the contagion in which 'some' of them have tested positive.
"INS Parundu is very much operational. Entry of civilian staff working there has been restricted," they added.
District authorities are set to take up disinfection procedures later.
INS Parundu in Uchipuli is primarily used as a reconnaissance station to monitor the southeast Bay of Bengal.
According to the Navy, INS Parundu provides search and rescue coverage and conducts operational sorties over the Palk Bay area on a regular basis.
Coastal/area surveillance and real-time intelligence gathering are its other operational tasks.
Earlier this week, the Navy announced that 12 trainee sailors at its INS Shivaji base in Maharashtra had tested positive for COVID-19. In April, the INS Angre shore facility in Mumbai was locked down after 21 sailors tested positive.