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Thursday, July 02, 2020

Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra Police cross 2,000

Cases in the police force account for 3.6 per cent of total cases in Maharashtra, which is nearly 57,000 as on Thursday.

Written by Sushant Kulkarni | Pune | Published: May 28, 2020 10:48:56 pm
Mumbai police checking ID cards during lockdown in Ghatkopar East in Mumbai.

The number of police personnel who have contracted coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Maharashtra crossed the 2000-mark on Thursday, when the total number of cases reached 2,095 in the two lakh-strong police force. The force had seen as many as 131 new cases on Wednesday.

As per the numbers shared by officials from Maharashtra Police headquarters on Thursday afternoon, among the 2,095 cases, 236 are officers and 1,859 are constables. Of these, 22 police personnel have succumbed to the infection till date while a total of 897 — 75 officers and 822 constables — have recovered.

Cases in the police force account for 3.6 per cent of total cases in Maharashtra, which is nearly 57,000 as on Thursday.

The Indian Express had reported earlier that the majority of these cases were either local personnel from Mumbai, its surrounding areas and Nashik district’s Malegaon city, or personnel of the Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), who were deployed in these high-risk areas and later repatriated to their home units. The SRPF units based in Aurangabad, Hingoli, Jalna, Daund and Pune have been the worst hit.

Of the total 2,095 infected police personnel, over 1,200 are from Mumbai Police and over 550 from various units of SRPF. Other than Mumbai, Malegaon and SRPF, significant number of cases have been found among police personnel in Thane city, Pune city, Navi Mumbai, Solapur and Mumbai Railway Police.

The first few cases among the police force started getting reported in the second week of April. By May 6, over 500 police personnel were infected and the number crossed 1,000 on May 14.

As a precautionary measure, nearly 23,000 police personnel between 50 and 55 years of age are being given low-risk police station tasks while 12,000 more, who are above 55, have been asked to stay home. Duty hours at check-points have also been made shorter. Over 6,000 police personnel, who are primary contacts of those who have tested positive, are currently quarantined, either at home or institutionally.

A senior Maharashtra Police officer said that over 11,000 Home Guard personnel are being deployed across the state to ensure that police jurisdictions with areas badly affected by Covid-19 have enough manpower. On May 13, the state government asked the Union Home Ministry to deploy 20 companies of Central Armed Police Forces. Ten companies comprising nearly 1,200 personnel have been deployed in the state since then.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak and the subsequent nationwide lockdown, Maharashtra Police have started contact tracing of infected persons and monitoring of home or institutional quarantine. Their most crucial role has been implementing the lockdown, closure of containment zones and district boundaries, and issuing travel permits. Lately, they also have the responsibility of facilitating the homeward journeys of stranded labourers, students and others.

The administration’s response to infections among the cops has evolved with the increasing number of cases. Dedicated quarantine facilities and hospitals have been marked for police personnel at various places and a Covid-19 helpline has also been set up. Healthcare aid is being given through the Maharashtra Police Family Insurance scheme, said officials.

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