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Home >News >India >Prepare second line of defence as many cops test positive for virus: MHA to states
(Photo: ANI)

Prepare second line of defence as many cops test positive for virus: MHA to states

  • Over 200 central paramilitary personnel have been infected with Covid-19 till now
  • MHA said home guards, civil defence, NCC cadets, Scouts and Guides and Student Police Cadets may be utilised in areas where there are not imminent law and order issues

New Delhi: Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written a letter to all states and UTs regarding guidelines and protocols on prevention of COVID-19 for Police/Security Personnel (CAPFs) managing the public.

New Delhi: Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written a letter to all states and UTs regarding guidelines and protocols on prevention of COVID-19 for Police/Security Personnel (CAPFs) managing the public.

According to the letter written on Saturday, MHA has asked chiefs of Para-military forces and DGsP to consider the option of work from home for personnel not deployed on the frontline and where feasible.

According to the letter written on Saturday, MHA has asked chiefs of Para-military forces and DGsP to consider the option of work from home for personnel not deployed on the frontline and where feasible.

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Home Ministry has also advised that to meet the challenge of COVID-19, and to ensure sustainment of control strategy, police forces need to prepare an effective second line of defence to make up for the police personnel who may be rendered ineffective due to COVID-19 infection. Over 200 central paramilitary personnel have been infected with COVID-19 till now, with a 55-year-old CRPF man succumbing to the disease last week.

"Home Guards, Civil Defence, NCC cadets, Scouts and Guides and Student Police Cadets may be utilised in areas where there are not imminent law and order issues. They can especially be of help in maintaining order at the relief centres and in facilitating the maintenance of supply chain and for coordinating other essential services," MHA states in the letter.

"The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is a global health crisis which has affected a huge population the world over. The virus which causes the disease is highly infectious and even pre-symptomatic people can infect others. Any person who is in close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, breathing difficulty, etc.) is at risk of contracting the disease," the letter further states.

"Police and security personnel are among the frontline workers performing duties to implement lockdown orders and government guidelines for containing the spread of the disease. Since they have to interact with the public on a daily basis, they are likely to be more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Instances have been noticed of police/ security personnel getting infected," MHA says in the letter sent to all states/UTs and CAPF chiefs.

The Home Ministry has said that it is imperative to make police personnel aware of the precautions to be taken while performing their assigned tasks in order to ensure that the strategy adopted for containing COVID-19 spread remains sustainable.

"In view of such cases, it is considered expedient to issue these guidelines to reiterate the precautions and measures to be taken. Police authorities may take necessary precautions to sanitise the physical environment at the place of duty of police/security personnel In this context, Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Disinfection of Common Public Places may be followed by Police/CAPFs," the letter reads.

"Lot of awareness has been generated about COVID-19 through various campaigns by the Government. Police/Security personnel may be advised to keep themselves safe by practicing proper hygiene and physical distancing. Police authorities should also take care of safety and hygiene of its personnel by providing all necessary safety materials like hand sanitizers, soaps, masks, face shield, gloves, safe food, etc. and also train the personnel in their proper usage/disposal," the letter further says.

Elaborating on the monitoring, the MHA states: "Most State Police have already set up Control Rooms. It is reiterated that Control Rooms are the nerve centres of policing and must monitor, round the clock, the minutest concerns of policing during the pandemic. The Control Rooms may be expanded, resourced and designed to incorporate special COVID-19 Cells, to exclusively look after all issues relating to the pandemic. The staff manning these COVID-19 cells should be trained on elementary modules relating to the epidemic and briefed about appropriate responses to help engage with issues and scenarios they are likely to be confronted with. Such COVID-19 Cells should be adequately equipped with men and material, including Drones which may be used for aerial reconnaissance, if required on urgent basis."

Police authorities should strictly apply self-quarantine rules to its members, when needed, as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The CPRF and now BSF have seen a massive spike in the number of coronavirus positive cases. A CRPF Battalion has crossed 122 mark of COVID-19 positive cases and 40 BSF jawans deployed in Delhi have tested positive for the virus.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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