Coronavirus outbreak: Facemasks, sanitisers in arsenal of cops dealing with travellers

Updated: Mar 16, 2020, 07:31 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

Sahar police and Airport police stations have been made more aware of situation, told to take extra precautions

Officers use a hand sanitiser at the Airport police station in Vile Parle. Pic/Anurag Ahire
Officers use a hand sanitiser at the Airport police station in Vile Parle. Pic/Anurag Ahire

The welcome desks of all 94 police stations in Mumbai have been equipped with hand sanitisers for visitors and staff, as also face masks for the latter in a bid to stave off Coronavirus. However, personnel at two of the stations — Sahar and Airport — are more vulnerable to the virus, due to the high connectivity with international as well as domestic travellers at the Mumbai airport.

Facemasks and sanitisers
Mumbai police spokesperson Pranaya Ashok said, "Considering the gravity of the Coronavirus outbreak, personnel at all police stations in the city have been asked to take extra precautions to protect their health. All police officers have been given facemasks and hand sanitisers to keep the virus away." An officer at the gate ensures that visitors' hands are sanitised before they enter the police stations at Sahar and Airport.

"Since the officials attached to Sahar and Airport police stations are prone to getting infected by international as well as domestic travellers, they have been told to take extra precautions," added Ashok.

The cops deployed at the Airport and Sahar police stations often come in contact with the immigration, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) as well as Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials at regular intervals.

"International travellers who have violated immigration laws are hauled to the Sahar police station for further legal action. Besides this, we are called for any incident which requires the intervention of police at the international airport. So, the chances of catching the infection are higher," said an officer attached to Sahar police station.
Similarly, an officer attached to Airport police station said, "We have to deal with domestic passengers. So we have been given safety kits like facemasks and hand sanitisers."

'Taking necessary precautions'
Senior Inspector of Sahar police station Shashikant Mane said, "We have been taking all necessary precautions. Besides this, we have been spreading awareness among staff members. We are also conducting meetings with the officials of the airport, CISF and Cargo to stop the spread of the virus."

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