April 17, 2021 8:36:41 pm
In view of the rising demand for hospital beds and the number of Covid-19 patients in the Mumbai Police force, the department is contemplating of restarting its Covid care centres.
The facilities were set up in April 2020 for police personnel and their family members who contract the virus.
Officials said they closed the centres late last year after the number of cases started to decrease. The department is currently running six helpdesks at different locations across the city to help the force get medication faster.
“The decision to restart the centres is yet to be taken but 541 active cases in the department is prompting us to restart the facilities,” said a senior official from the department.
Since April 2020, the Mumbai Police force has had nearly 8,000 policemen infected with the virus, of which, 102 died.
An official said they get infected while trying to maintain the law and order situation amid restrictions, initiated by the state.
“The lower-ranked officers constantly patrol and get into the crowded places, asking people to disperse. Due to this, we see around 30 Covid-positive cases among officers on a daily basis. Their family members are also getting infected. As it has become difficult to get a bed in any hospital, we are planning to restart four centres that will house 726 beds,” said an officer.
The officials added that they are planning to start two centres in Kalina, while one each at Marol in Andheri and Marine Drive in south Mumbai will be dedicated only for the Mumbai Police personnel.
Senior officials said they have already set up six Covid helplines for the police personnel.
“One helpline has been set up in the control room, while the rest are placed in each region office of south, central, east, west and north. Personnel, who are struggling to get a bed or an ambulance, shall reach out to the helpline of their respective region,” said an officer.
The department has deployed dedicated nodal officers, who will coordinate with the helplines and keep sharing information on availability of beds.
An official said of 50,000 Mumbai Police staffers, 70 percent have managed to get a dose of vaccine, while 40 percent have been fully inoculated. “We fasten the process to vaccinate everyone in the force,” the officer added.
However, unlike last year, the department has asked all the personnel, aged above 55 years, and also those with comorbidities to report to work.
“During the first lockdown, we had asked personnel aged above 55 to stay at home. This led to shortage in manpower. So, we have decided to call all of them to work, but this time, we will deploy them for indoor work,” said a senior officer.
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