Covid India: Maharashtra Police face the heat, as new infections rise

Mumbai - About 6,300 got infected and 71 officers and men succumbed to virus last month.

With Maharashtra being the worst-hit state in terms of Covid cases, its police force too has been encountering a major crisis.

The last month has been the worst, with 6,300 personnel getting infected and 71 officers and men succumbing to Covid.

The state police force has seen 42,410 cases of Covid-19 since the start of the crisis last year. They include 5,165 officers and 37,245 constables and other staff. The 200,000-strong police force has also seen 439 deaths – 37 officers and 402 constables. And the force struggles with more than 3,200 active cases now.

Police personnel are deployed in high-risk places including hospitals, containment zones, isolation wards and quarantine facilities, besides monitoring the movement of people and flow of traffic at district boundaries.

Not surprisingly, the state’s police force has won plaudits from the Supreme court and the Bombay high court. The two courts appreciated the way Mumbai’s civic body, the BMC, managed to control the second phase of Covid in the metropolis.

Even the Indian government has acknowledged the role of civic bodies in Mumbai and Pune in tackling the massive crisis faced by these two cities. The health ministry cited the decentralized approach of the BMC, which needs to be adopted nationally.

It also praised the example of Pune placing containment measures that have worked very well. “We observed that strict measures like restrictions on mass gatherings and intermingling of people, along with closing of non-essential activities for a period of 15 days, reduced the rate of growth in cases, and the cases started plateauing,” said joint secretary Lav Agarwal.

When in the first week of March Pune had seen 69.7 per cent case positivity rate, it introduced night curfew between 11 pm and 6 am, reducing the growth trajectory of cases and reduction in the positivity rate, which fell from 41.8 per cent to 23.4 per cent.


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