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Ludhiana: ACP tests positive for coronavirus, 13 cops put under quarantine

The ACP was on lockdown duty at city’s busy Sabzi Mandi. His condition is critical.

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana | Updated: April 14, 2020 10:41:09 pm
Ludhiana, Ludhiana City Police, Ludhiana COVID-19 Thirteen policemen who came in close contact with the officer have been put under home quarantine. Express Photo: Gurmeet Singh

A Punjab Police Service (PPS) officer, posted as Assistant Commissioner of Police (north) with Ludhiana city police, has tested positive for coronavirus.

After his test report came positive late on Sunday, at least thirteen policemen from Ludhiana city police — including three inspectors, ACP’s four gunmen, his office staff and others — have been put under home quarantine. His wife and son have also been quarantined.

Admitted at SPS Hospital in Ludhiana for the last five days, he had first tested negative. However, after his condition continued to deteriorate, he was put on ventilator support Saturday and sample was sent for testing again which came back positive.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr. Rajiv Kundra, Medical Superintendent (MS), SPS Hospital, said, “The officer aged 52 was admitted to our hospital on April 8. His first sample tested negative, but his condition wasn’t improving. He was put on ventilator support Saturday. His condition continues to be critical. The second sample tested positive Sunday late.”

Dr. Kundra said that the officer had history of fever, sore throat and body ache. “We did the X-rays which showed complications. The initial sample returned negative for coronavirus, but his condition wasn’t good. So we sent samples again for another test. He was kept in isolation ward since the day of admission. No one was allowed to meet him. His condition continues to be critical,” he said.

Ludhiana DCP Ashwani Kapoor said that thirteen policemen who came in close contact with the officer have been put under home quarantine.

“ACP (North) wasn’t keeping well since March last week. He was getting treatment from a local doctor, but continued to remain unwell. He was on duty at the wholesale vegetable market (Sabzi Mandi) as the area was under his jurisdiction. After April 1, his condition did not improve and he was advised to take rest. Thirteen policemen including his staff and SHOs are under quarantine,” the DCP said.

As per the contact-tracing list prepared by the police, the cops who have been put under quarantine, include three inspectors (posted as SHOs at Daresi, Salem Tabri and Basti Jodhewal), ACP’s four gunmen (constables) and six others cops (a sub-inspector, two assistant sub-inspectors, two constables and a home guard) who were posted as the officer’s driver, readers, office staff, PSOs.

However, speaking to The Indian Express, one of the officer’s gunmen said that ACP was on a nine-hour duty at the Sabzi mandi at a stretch since the lockddown began and was dealing with hundreds of arthiyas and farmers who would come to sell their vegetables.

“In entire last week of March, we used to go to Sabzi Mandi at 2 am in night and return around 11 am in morning. Hundreds of people would come there. Sometimes the duty at Sabzi Mandi was even more than nine hours. Between March 31 to April 1, he started feeling unwell and had minor fever and cough. A local doctor was consulted and twice we also got the doctor home when his condition did not improve. He then also stopped visiting office. But on April 2 and 3, he visited Sabzi Mandi again and took a round in his areas. But he did not spend much time at Sabzi Mandi as he started having issues while walking. He felt too weak and fever also returned. Since then, his condition just deteriorated and on April 8 we took him to hospital,” said the gunman.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kundra said that the officer had no international travel history according to the family. “He was on duty in Ludhiana since the lockdown,” he said.

Dr. Rajesh Bagga, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana said that samples of ACP’s close contacts have been collected for testing.

Theft accused case: 15 samples negative

Meanwhile, in the case of a theft accused arrested by Ludhiana city police who later tested positive for coronavirus, 15 samples of his contacts have returned a negative test. Dr. Rajesh Bagga, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana said that of 26 samples taken (including his family and policemen), 15 are negative, while eleven reports are pending. A total of 16 policemen were put under quarantine after theft accused had tested positive.

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