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Ashok Vihar police colony emerges as hotspot with 16 cases, sealed

According to the containment order passed by the Northwest Delhi DM Sandeep Mishra, there are around 300 flats in the colony housing 1,500 people. Residents will not be allowed to step out for any reason and essential items will be delivered to their houses.

Written by Mahender Singh Manral | New Delhi | Published: May 25, 2020 2:20:24 am
Coronavirus, coronavirus India lockdown, India lockdown coronavirus, COVID-19 India lockdown, Express Editorial, Indian Express The area surrounding the police colony has been declared a buffer zone.(Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

The Ashok Vihar Police Colony in Northwest Delhi has been sealed as 16 Covid cases have emerged from the area in the past week. Police personnel and their families who live in the complex have been asked to remain indoors and follow social distancing norms. So far, 434 policemen have tested positive in Delhi.

According to the containment order passed by the Northwest Delhi DM Sandeep Mishra, there are around 300 flats in the colony housing 1,500 people. Residents will not be allowed to step out for any reason and essential items, such as milk, vegetables and fruits will be delivered to their houses. “We have assured families of all help,” said a senior police officer.

“First positive case of Covid-19 was reported in police colony, Ashok Vihar, on May 17 and subsequently, 15 more persons have been found positive in the area, making the area a cluster of Covid-19 positive cases… On May 17, as precautionary measure, the local process…was directed to cordon off all entry and exit points… MCD was directed to sanitise the entire area to remove the possibility of community transfer,” the order passed by the DM said.

The area surrounding the police colony has been declared a buffer zone.

Colony RWA president Nepal Singh told The Indian Express that they have sealed the entrance and exit points and are sanitising the area with the civic agency’s help. “We have also requested all policemen, going out to perform their duties, to stay outside and are making arrangements for delivery of essentials,” he said.

District officials said the authority has allowed only a select number of vendors to supply groceries and other essentials to the neighbourhood, with the help of RWA and civil defence volunteers.

Of the 434 personnel who have tested positive, more than 200, including an additional DCP-rank officer, are under home quarantine. Around 140 police personnel have been discharged, while one constable died.

In several meetings, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava has emphasised that every police colony and building has to be sanitised. On May 20, Shrivastava issued fresh guidelines to the force aimed at preventing the spread of the disease.

The circular has details on general precautions at police stations, micro-grouping, beat patrolling, crowd control, protest sites, crime and hospital spot visits, handling bodies, arresting protocol, and role of SHOs and ACPs.

As per the circular, at police stations, all personnel should wear masks and gloves, disinfect weapons, anti-riot gear, blinkers, dragon light, computers and printers. “Buildings, furniture, toilets, kitchens, messes as well as vehicles must be cleaned thoroughly using sanitisers twice a day…,” says the circular.

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