Days after a 32-year-old constable died of COVID-19 related complications, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava created a WhatsApp group — “Let’s fight COVID-DP”— to address grievances of personnel who either tested positive for the virus or are in isolation.
The decision comes even as 110 policemen have tested positive and around 150 police personnel home quarantined as of Friday.
While interacting with mediapersons via video conferencing Friday, Shrivastava said they are making all arrangements as the situation is changing.
An order to this effect was issued by Special CP (vigilance) Sundari Nanda: “DCP Anil Lall will supervise day-to-day functioning of staff monitoring the “Let’s fight COVID-DP” WhatsApp group, which coordinates grievances of personnel who are either in hospital after they tested positive or in isolation. This has been necessitated because of increasing number of positive-tested policemen and the need to deploy more staff to attend the helpline number and monitor the WhatsApp group in order to enable grievance redressal.”
Police have also appointed seven personnel at seven hospitals to help those from the force who come for a medical check-up.
Among those who tested positive are five policemen with the Crime Branch in Prashant Vihar and who are probing the case against Markaz Nizmauddin head Maulana Saad Kandhalvi. On Thursday, an inspector with the New Delhi Range of the Special Cell and part of the Northeast Delhi riots probe, tested positive. Three of his colleagues tested positive earlier.
On the urgency of probing these cases despite policemen tested positive, Shrivastava said, “The policemen are not only probing the Markaz and riots cases, they are investigating other cases as well. We are taking all precautions; when people at construction sites and wine shops are working, how can we stop our investigation?”
Shrivastava said a contingency plan is in place, under which 15% of their staff are already in isolation. If an outbreak were to happen at a police station, those in isolation can be called in for duty.
“Personnel have been told to inform their seniors if they observe any symptoms. We have also coordinated with seven hospitals, where any policemen can get tested or admitted if they have any symptoms. We have also arranged hotels for those in isolation,” he added. Shrivastava earlier said DCPs will “be held responsible if more cases of personnel being infected arise in their district”.
“On Friday, several policemen tested positive — a personal assistant of Additional DCP (Shahdara); six policemen at Khajuri Khas police station; one inspector at Jafrabad police station; one at Mandir Marg police station,” said a senior officer.
Police at the Crime Branch office in Kotwali also went into tizzy after a cafeteria staffer tested positive. Police said the driver of District Magistrate (Central), who had tested positive, used to have lunch at the cafeteria.
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