US tracking security issues including possible civil unrest: Juster

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster has said that the mission was “tracking security issues around the country, including concerns about possible civil unrest”, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As per media reports, Juster said in an internal email dates April 1 that however, for the time being, we do not see signs of this” against the backdrop of the virus outbreak.

In the email to all employees of the mission, Juster confirmed that one embassy official in Delhi, an American, had tested positive for COVID-19.

Media reports quoted the US Ambassador in the email: “For the time being we remain confident of our ability to support our community should health emergencies arise. There is no doubt, however, that this may become more challenging if the Indian healthcare system begins to be overwhelmed.”

Juster emphasised that the mission’s first priority was the personal safety of its employees.

“We are also tracking security issues around the country, including concerns about possible civil unrest. For the time being, we do not see signs of this, or signs that an incident will impact our community, but we will, of course continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you informed of any changes.”

He sought to allay the apprehensions of the employees, saying the mission was in the process of “contact tracing” and providing medical support to those who may have been exposed to the virus, according to media reports.

“I am extremely grateful to our medical professionals for their commitment to being at the mission during this challenging period (one member of the medical team has had to depart for personal medical reasons). More broadly, we are continuing to monitor developments in India very closely, ranging from the number of COVID-19 cases to the state of the healthcare system.”

Regarding the infected embassy official, Juster said: “At the outset, we must inform you that a member of our community has now tested positive for COVID-19. This individual, an American who works in New Delhi, is doing well under treatment by our health unit physicians.”

The doctors are doing a preliminary analysis of the situation, he said, adding that it appears the individual has been in quarantine since the symptoms of COVID-19 set in and that he had even largely recovered.