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Coronavirus: Mumbai cops aged above 55 asked to go on leave


Press Trust of India Mumbai
In view of the deaths of three policemen in the last three days due to COVID-19 disease, the Mumbai Police have asked their personnel who are above 55 years of age with pre-existing ailments to go on leave as a precautionary measure, a senior officer said on Tuesday.
Besides, police personnel who are above 52 years of age and have existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension etc. have also been asked to stay at home for now.
While a 57-year-old head constable died on Monday of COVID-19, two of his colleagues in Mumbai Police, a 52-year- old head constable and a 57-year-old constable succumbed to the viral infection on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
During an analysis, it came to light that the three deceased and the other police personnel currently undergoing treatment for coronavirus disease were above the age of 50, a senior Mumbai Police official said on Tuesday.
"In view of this, we have decided to protect our policemen and officers - who are above 55 years of age and having some pre-existing ailment - and asked them to take leave," he said.
"Because of their age, these police personnel are at a higher risk. Therefore, we are allowing them to take leave during these days," the official said.
Mumbai Police spokesperson and DCP Pranay Ashok said police personnel are at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and have been risking their lives on streets.
"Our personnel are risking their lives daily to protect citizens. It is our priority to keep their personal health and immunity strong," he said.
Apart from asking the police personnel above 55 years of age to go on leave, we have also directed those personnel who are above 52 years of age with previous medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension etc. to stay at home for now, the DCP said.
So far at least 107 police personnel, including 20 police officers, have been tested positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra. Majority of them are from Mumbai Police.
Informing about various welfare measures for police personnel, the police officer said that staff at all police stations has been directed to do a 12-hour shift per day which will be followed a by 24-hour rest shift until May 3, when the coronavirus-enforced lockdown is expected to be lifted.
In a bid to boost immunity of Mumbai Police personnel, multi-vitamin and protein supplements are being provided to 20,000 of them, the officer said.
He further said that tablets of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), an anti-malarial drug, are being given to 12,000 personnel under medical supervision.
The DCP said that special hospitals are being designated for the police personnel.
His statement came against the backdrop of reports that the 57-year-old police head constable who died on Monday was refused admission to at least three hospitals, before he was taken to KEM Hospital.
He also said that the state government granted an ex- gratia of Rs 50 lakh to the families of the deceased policemen.
He said all COVID hospitals in Mumbai have dedicated beds for the police personnel.
Among various measures, a special Covid Helpline has been set up for the policemen and their families at the Control Room to resolve any doubts or issues they might be having regarding COVID, he said, adding that medical personnel will also be attached with the helpline.
Moreover, adequate number of PPEs, face masks, hand sanitisers, gloves, face shields have been provided to all police personnel, he said.
"Food packets, ration, hot water flasks, pandals at check points are also being provided to the police personnel on frontline duties," the officer said, adding that temporary accommodation facilities are also being provided.

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First Published: Apr 28 2020 | 2:58 PM IST

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