The number of coronavirus deaths among Maharashtra Police personnel has reached 87 as on Monday, with the total number of cases in the two lakh strong force rising to 7,417. The Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), which has reported more than 1,300 cases till now, has started conducting rapid antigen tests of its personnel.
With local authorities across the state reintroducing lockdown restrictions, the burden on police personnel has increased over the past fortnight. Most police personnel have been deployed at the checkpoints set up in areas under restriction and at Covid Care Centres. The Indian Express has reported that the state police force is increasingly stretched thin whenever a unit goes under quarantine, since it increases the burden on other units.
Of the 7,417 Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra Police, 781 are officers and 6,636 constables. Of these, 5,734 have recovered while the number of active cases is 1,596, which includes 193 officers and 1,403 constables.
The most cases and deaths have been reported among police personnel in Mumbai, its surrounding areas and SRPF personnel.
Of the 87 deaths, 51 were among police personnel in Mumbai, six in Thane city, four in Mumbai railway and three each in Pune city, Solapur city and Nashik Rural Police. More than 8,000 personnel are currently in quarantine facilities across the state.
“While adequate precautions are being taken by on duty police personnel all the time, there is inherent risk in the very work we do. There are clear instructions to all unit heads that extensive testing of contacts should be done, as well as random testing, considering the high risk duties,” said a senior officer from Maharashtra Police.
Additional Director General of Police Archana Tyagi, who heads the SRPF, said, “To detect cases at an early stage, we have started doing rapid antigen tests of our personnel…Our companies are deployed across Maharashtra, including some areas like Gadchiroli.”
Of the 1,300 cases in SRPF, 919 have been discharged from hospital.
Two days ago, at least 73 SRPF personnel deployed in Gadchiroli tested positive, along with personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces who are deployed in the Naxal-affected district. The SRPF has reported two deaths till now.
The SRPF, which is the reserve police force under Maharashtra State Police, has 16 groups based at stations across the state. Since the lockdown began, between 40 and 50 companies mobilised from these 16 groups have been deployed in highly affected regions like Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Malegaon. One company comprises 100-120 personnel headed by an officer.
A significant number of cases have also been found among police personnel in Malegaon, Navi Mumbai, Palghar, Jalgaon and Aurangabad. Maharashtra police officials said the availability of beds, quarantine care centres and supply of safety utilities is being constantly monitored to make sure that police machinery continues to do its duty.
Cops share Covid-19 experience, get counselling after recovery
Pune: Pune Police on Monday organised an experience-sharing and counselling session for cops who have recovered from Covid-19, as part of the Mano Bharosa initiative of Bharosa Cell of Pune Police. Police Commissioner K Venkatesham and Joint Commissioner Ravindra Shisve interacted with personnel and officers. According to a press note, 35 recovered policemen took part in the programme, which was addressed by Dr Kavita Kareer, a consultant in emotional intelligence, Dr Mamta Venkates-ham and Dr Niharika Venka-tesham, who spoke on maintaining positivity, and Dr Angha Lavlekar, who talked about need of early diagnosis and treatment. Police personnel and officers shared their experience and how the support of family, friends, and colleagues boosted their morale. ENS
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