A 54-year-old executive engineer from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) succumbed to Covid-19 on Sunday afternoon. So far about 75 frontline civic workers have succumbed to Covid-19 and over 1,800 are infected. This is the second death among senior civic officials after deputy municipal commissioner Shirish Dixit succumbed recently.
Anand Shinde was posted in Storm Water Drain (SWD) department and was handling city division.
A 50-year-old sub-inspector, Raju Rana, posted in the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), also passed away on Sunday, 20 days after testing positive for Covid-19.
Shinde was on duty till Tuesday. He was not feeling well and later he got tested for Covid-19. Since he was showing symptoms, first he was taken to Vedant Hospital and later to Jupiter Hospital, both in Thane. “After his oxygen level dropped he was shifted to Seven Hills hospital. While undergoing treatment he succumbed on Sunday. He was actively involved in nullah cleaning works. He could have been infected while on field,” said an official from the BMC.
Apart from Shinde, chief engineer of SWD department Sanjay Jadhav and his wife had also tested positive for Covid-19. Both are stable and admitted in Seven Hills hospital.
DMC Dixit was handling setting up of jumbo Covid-19 care facility at NSCI Dome in Worli and Race Course in Mahalaxmi. Earlier, data from the BMC had shown that over 80 per cent infected civic staff are from lower ranks like labourers, ward boys and sweepers.
After the death of Shinde, municipal engineers’ union has once again demanded that the civic body should not force staffers aged above 50 with Covid-19 duties. “While the central government has clearly stated that people above 50 years of age should not be assigned Covid duty, BMC is pushing employees aged up to 55 years on Covid duty,” an engineer claimed.
Sub-inspector Rana was posted in Group III of the SRPF, which is based in Jalna. A company from that group, including Rana, had been posted in Santacruz West since April 16.
Akshay Shinde, Commandant, Group III, said that Rana developed fever in the last week of May and tested positive on June 1. He was then admitted to Seven Hills hospital in Marol. “His condition kept deteriorating and he was not responding to treatment. He was placed on ventilator support this week and passed away on Sunday morning,” said Shinde.
Rana is the first casualty in the SPRF, whose companies are stationed in several cities and towns with high rates of infection in order to assist the local police patrol fixed points and sensitive areas.
Close to 600 SRPF jawans posted in various parts of Maharashtra have tested positive for Covid-19. The rapid rate of infection in the SRPF also led the Maharashtra Police to advise them to set up Covid Care Centres at their own facilities across the state.
Shinde added that Rana’s colleagues stationed in Santacruz have since returned to Jalna after their posting was completed and that none of them had been infected. The men have since been replaced in Santacruz by another company from Group III, he said
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