The Recruitment Training Centre (RTC) situated at Police Lines, Sector 26, was closed for indefinite period on Thursday, as three under training Chandigarh Police recruits, including a woman, tested for the novel coronavirus.
Besides suspending the under-training police constable course, two promotion courses including Upper course and Intermediate course have also been suspended. At least 165 persons including 48 under training recruits and 117 police personnel were undergoing training and promotion courses at the RTC.
Though under training recruits were shifted to rooms from the barracks, personnel undergoing promotional courses were sent back to their homes. At least eight other trainees have been put under quarantine.
The promotional courses were for a three-month period. The intermediate course is for head constables for promotion to ASI rank, the Upper course is for ASI of Sub Inspector (SI) post.
“One of the under-training recruits complained of mild fever and cough and was taken for test. She tested positive last night. Samples of eight others were collected and two of them tested positive. They have also complained of mild fever. The sample results of others are yet to come back. The positive tested recruits have been kept at Sood Dharamshala, Sector 22. There is no clarity who was infected first,” said sources.
“We have closed the RTC for an indefinite time. Ongoing promotional courses were suspended and will resume later. The entire RTC complex is being sanitised. We are on alert. So far, it is not confirmed how the first recruits got infected with the coronavirus. It is a matter of contact tracing. Under training recruits were shifted to rooms. Three recruits put in each room to maintain social distancing,” said SP (headquarters), Manoj Kumar Meena.
“It is a complex situation. Under training recruits were not allowed to go outside the RTC complex. Indeed, a few personnel pursuing promotional courses allowed to go to their houses with permissions. We presumed it travelled from outside to RTC. As the promotional courses were deferred, it is a setback for hundreds of personnel eligible for their promotions,” said an instructor requesting anonymity.
Till now, at least seven Chandigarh Police personnel have tested positive. They were posted in various wings including crime branch, police headquarters, Sector 9, Sector 17 Police Station and in the police beat situated at Panjab University (PU).
As many as 24 Covid-19 cases were reported in Mohali district on Thursday, taking the tally of cases to 818, with 308 active cases at present. The district has reported 14 deaths so far.
A Health department spokesperson said that as many as four cases were reported from Mohali, three from Kharar, seven from Derabassi, two from Zirakpur, and one case each was reported from Kumbra, Bhawat, Kurali, Peermuchalla, Siswan, Mullanpur, Dhakoli and Bhawat.
Civil Surgeon Dr Manjeet Singh said that staff members of a private hospital also tested positive following which the hospital’s OPD was closed.
“We had increased the testing in the last one month, most of the cases either had travel history or they were contacts of positive cases. We have recorded a surge in the cases, as more number of tests are being conducted. As many as 496 patients have also recovered from the disease,” stated Civil Surgeon Dr Manjeet Singh.
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