WITH three new cases on Tuesday, the number of policemen in the state who have tested positive for coronavirus has reached 23, with Kanpur topping the list with 12.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) HC Awasthy has issued directives to all district police chiefs and other senior officers to ensure that policemen deployed on frontline duty take all precautionary measures. They should wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and carry polycarbonate shield with them, apart from maintaining social distancing while being on duty. “I have directed senior police officers in the districts, ranges and zones to regularly check policemen deployed on frontline… that they should be wearing protective gear. Officers are also being asked to take action against cops found not wearing safety gear” said DGP Awasthy.
The directives were issued keeping in mind that police personnel are vulnerable and more exposed to the infection. They are moving with health workers, guarding containment zones, enforcing the lockdown and quarantines, apart from handling migrants returning to their homes. So far, 406 hotspots in 57 districts have been identified in the state.
The DGP added, “Keeping in mind the environment policemen are presently working in, I have been regularly issuing protocols. A recent [list of] directives to districts was prepared after consulting with doctors. It was written in detail what to do while dealing with such crisis. It was also mentioned what cops should avoid while working in such atmosphere.”
Directions were also issued to cops working in police offices and police stations on what precautions they need to take, added Awasthy.
In Varanasi, eight policemen tested positive and one each in Bijnor, Agra and Moradabad. Over 100 police personnel are in quarantine in the state as a precautionary measure.
The first case of a policeman testing positive in UP was reported from Bijnor on April 20 when a 59-year-old sub-inspector was infected when he had gone to a village along with health workers to bring nine migrant workers, who returned from Delhi, to be quarantined. Two police constables who accompanied the S-I tested negative.
Two inspectors – one each posted in reserve police line (RI) and local intelligence unit – tested positive in Kanpur.
Inspector General, Kanpur Range, Mohit Agarwal said RI deals with constables deployed on the frontlines who besides visiting the police stations also coordinate with them for supplying medical facilities.
Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) personnel had to move around to different places because of the nature of their duty so there are chances of them being infected. LIU personnel are tasked with tracing contracts of people tested who have tested positive, he added.
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