AURANGABAD: Police personnel across the country have been at the forefront of the Covid-19 containment efforts. They had ensured effective implementation of the lockdown and continue to oversee the adherance to safety protocols including social distancing and mask use.
During the course of their duty, thousands of police personnel have caught the infection. Over 76,000 police personnel across the country tested positive for Covid-19 till August 21, statistics from a publication of the Bureau Of Police Research And Development (BPR&D) reveal.
The BPR&D published a special compendium highlighting the police’s role in the fight against Covid-19. It stated that as many as 76,768 police personnel across the country had tested positive. There were also 401 fatalities among the cops till August 21.
Maharashtra, which has reported the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the country, also has the most cases among the police personnel. Maharashtra had reported 12,760 cases among police personnel and 129 deaths, followed by UP with 6,708 cases and 19 deaths. West Bengal reported 5,794 cases and19 deaths, followed by Karnataka police with 4,925 cases and 32 deaths.
Senior police officers in Maharashtra said they had ensured that police personnel with comorbidities and those above the age of 50 years were not put on high-risk duties. They also granted leave to personnel above the age of 55 years.
Sanjeev Kumar Singhal, the additional director general of police (administration) in Maharashtra, told TOI, “The state has a high number of Covid cases and the police force, being a law enforcement agency, has been directly exposed to a large number of patients of a daily basis.” The officer said apart from ensuring quality treatment, they also gave immunity booster medicines and supplements to the personnel across the hierarchy.
The central armed police forces have also reported a high number of cases, adding to the concerns of those at the helm.
Assam rifles reported 571 cases and one death, border security force reported 3,757 cases and 13 deaths, central industrial security force reported 3,041cases and17 deaths, central reserve police force recorded 5,467 cases and 24 deaths, Indo-Tibetan Border police reported 1332 cases and three deaths, national disaster response force traced 457 cases and no deaths, National Security guard reported 92 cases and zero death and Sashastra Seema Bal reported 601 cases and three deaths.
However, Mizoram, Lakshwadeep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu reported no cases and casualties amongst police personnel, while Meghalaya recorded eight Covid cases.