Maharashtra Police recorded the highest one-day rise in Covid-19 cases among its personnel and officers on Monday, with 351 testing positive, taking the number of coronavirus-affected state cops to 14,067. A significant number of cases is being reported from police personnel in rural areas of the state, said officials.
As per the data shared by Maharashtra Police on Tuesday, of the total 14,067 cases among state cops, 2,569 were active cases, while 1,499 were officers and 12,568 were constabulary staff. With three deaths among police personnel in the state being reported on Monday, the total number of deaths due to the infection among state cops rose to 142, including 15 officers and 127 constabulary staff.
While 351 cases were added to the tally of 13,716 from the previous day, as many as 307 cops also recovered during the same period, taking the total number of recovered police personnel to 11,356 as on Tuesday.
Till now, the maximum number of Covid-19 cases among police personnel were being reported from Mumbai, its surrounding areas and the personnel of the Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force deployed in these high-risk areas. Other than Mumbai and the SRPF, cases have continued to rise among cops in Nashik Rural, Thane City, Pune City, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai Railway, Solapur and Pimpri Chinchwad police jurisdictions.
A senior official from Maharashtra Police headquarters said, “The police jurisdictions which had maximum caseload in the past are continuing to report cases. However, now a significant number of cases are also being reported from cops in rural areas. With the rise of Covid-19 cases in rural parts of Maharashtra, the exposure of police personnel has also increased. A number of deaths have also been reported among police personnel from these areas. In spite of rising cases and increasing risk, police personnel continue to perform their duties after taking all possible precautions. The situation is being closely monitored and the supply of safety utilities is being ensured. Dedicated hospital and quarantine facilities for police have already been set up. Close to 8,000 cops remain in quarantine across the state.”
The Indian Express has earlier reported that many police units from jurisdictions across the state have been grappling with staff crunch after detection of cases among their staff and subsequent hospitalisation of infected personnel, and isolation of their immediate contacts.
“With phased lifting of most Covid-related movement restrictions, the crime numbers which had seen a dip in the initial weeks of the lockdown have bounced back. Along with routine policing duties, our personnel continue to be deployed in containment zones and also at Covid care centres and hospitals. The Ganesh festival has further increased the load of duties on police personnel across the state. Enforcement of safety norms remains a top priority during the festival season,” said another police officer.
Since the lockdown was imposed in March, there have been 336 cases of assaults onon-duty policemen who were part of enforcement deployments across the state. As many as 89 cops have been injured in these attacks.
Since the beginning of the lockdown, offences have been registered under Indian Penal Code Section 188 against violators of prohibitory orders. Till now, over 2.41 lakh offences have been registered across the state.
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