Mumbai: Only 470 city cops are fighting COVID-19 now

Updated: 26 September, 2020 07:44 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Police department shuts three dedicated COVID centres meant for cops following a drop in new cases since July, will reopen if required

Officers queue up to get tested for COVID-19 at a camp at Kasturba police station, Borivli. Pic/Satej Shinde
Officers queue up to get tested for COVID-19 at a camp at Kasturba police station, Borivli. Pic/Satej Shinde

There's finally some good news for our COVID-19 warriors in khaki. The number of infected policemen in the city has declined in the past few weeks, with only 470 of them in quarantine at home or at centres.

Owing to a declining trend in confirmed cases within the force, the Mumbai police, which was the most affected by the pandemic after medical practitioners, has now closed three centres opened exclusively for the police officers. A senior officer said the centres would be reopened if the need arose. The number of new COVID-19 cases started to drop in July.

Only 1 centre operational

Policemen across the country have been working day and night to ensure people follow the rules implemented to prevent the further spread of the novel Coronavirus. Since the March lockdown, several of them have contracted the virus and some of them succumbed to it.

With constant rise in infections within the force, the Mumbai Police Department introduced several measures for the protection of its force and opened four dedicated COVID-19 centres for them, including two in Marol, one in Kalina and another at Police Gymkhana. As of now, only the Kalina centre is operational.

City lost 82 cops to virus

COVID-19 had affected 5,884 policemen in the city till September 24, and only 470 of them are still in isolation -- 204 at various hospitals, 168 in COVID-19 centres and 98 others are in home isolation. City has so far lost 82 policemen to COVID-19.

Among the measures taken by the department was creating awareness among the public. Moreover, policemen aged above 50 years were given leave and asked to report to work only once a week. Those above 40 years were tested using antigen method, as the department's focus was on early detection and quick treatment.

Got leave amid pandemic

A 56-year-old policeman told mid-day, "In the beginning of the pandemic, I was given leave and had to go to office only once a week. We used to ask other senior officers to be alert." Another 53-year-old officer said, "We have received vitamins supplements and homeopathy medicines from our police stations along with mask and hand sanitiser."

Now, more than 70 per cent of the police force are coming to work.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Admin) Rajkumar Vhatkar said vitamin tablets and homeopathy medicine, Arsenic 30, were given to the policemen as precautionary measures, besides masks and hand sanitiser. "Policemen get treatment quickly as we are focused on early detection. Due to a drop in fresh cases, three COVID centres have been temporarily closed. We will start them again if there's a requirement in future."

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First Published: 26 September, 2020 07:44 IST

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