Mumbai: COVID-19 grips eight cops at Crime Branch unit, 13 in isolation

Updated: Jun 24, 2020, 07:53 IST | Anurag Kamble | Mumbai

The novel Coronavirus seems to have entered the Unit 9 in Bandra through a couple of accused arrested seven days ago

The Crime Branch Unit 9 office at Hill Road in Bandra, which has been hit by COVID-19. Pic/Pradeep Dhiva
The Crime Branch Unit 9 office at Hill Road in Bandra, which has been hit by COVID-19. Pic/Pradeep Dhiva

More than half of the staff at Mumbai Crime Branch's Unit 9 is fighting COVID-19. There are eight positive cases and 13 of the staff are in isolation, including the unit's in-charge officer.

With a total strength of 34, including officers and constables, the unit was hit by the virus last week. It appears that the virus came through a couple of accused arrested seven days ago.

However, in a positive development, all affected staff are in a stable condition with mild symptoms.

Until now, cases among the police were being reported mostly from police stations as the staff were coming in contact with the public.

The Unit 9 is located next to Bandra police station Its in-charge, senior inspector Mahesh Desai has been in self-isolation for seven days.

"We had arrested a couple of accused seven days ago. We suspect that that's how the virus entered the unit. First, the drivers started having mild symptoms and were rushed to the hospital," said an officer from the unit.

"Then the assistant inspector and six others got infected. Thirteen others who had come in contact with them have self-quarantined themselves," the officer added.

With 21 of the staff unwell, the unit's work has slowed down. "Though keeping track of crime and arresting criminals is necessary, cops have been advised to be vigilant as far as COVID-19 is concerned. Our men are working against all odds now and we have told them to be more careful during investigation and fieldwork. Fortunately, none of the cops from Unit 9 is having strong symptoms. We hope they recover soon," said a senior police officer.

Maharashtra police have lost 50 policemen to the pandemic so far. The number of infected cops in the state has reached 4,000.

The prevalence of the infection is much higher in the Mumbai police, which has also had 33 deaths.

21
Total no. of cops affected at the unit

34
Total no. of cops currently deputed at the unit

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