Markets shut, roads empty on first day of weekend curfew in Delhi

By PTI

MUMBAI/DELHI: At least 370 police personnel tested positive for coronavirus infection in Maharashtra in the last 24 hours, an official said on Wednesday evening.

Those infected included 60 officers and 310 constables, he said.

At present, a total of 504 officers and 1,678 constables are undergoing treatment for coronavirus infection across the state.

Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 48,611 staff of Maharashtra Police (6,204 officers and 42,407 constables) have caught the viral infection.

As many as 46 officers and 458 constables died due to COVID-19.

Maharashtra recorded 46,723 fresh coronavirus cases on Wednesday, up more than 27 per cent from a day ago.

A whopping 1,700 Delhi Police personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus infection since January 1, officials said on Wednesday, adding that a special camp has been organised to administer booster doses to staffers of the police headquarters.

The Delhi Police force comprises over 80,000 personnel, police said.

“A total of 1,700 personnel of the force have tested positive for the infection from January 1 to January 12. All of them are doing fine and are under quarantine. They will be joining duty after recovery,” a senior police officer said.

A special camp was organised for administering booster shots to frontline workers of the Delhi Police, the staffers working at its headquarters on Jai Singh Marg, they said.

“Special arrangements for administering precaution dose (booster) of Covid vaccine was organised from 11:30 am onwards at officers’ lounge on the ground floor of the PHQ.

This initiative was taken so that staffers like guards among others deployed at our headquarters do not have to go outside during their duty hours to get booster shots.

“But only those eligible police personnel, who have completed nine months after taking their second dose of vaccine, would be eligible for the booster shots,” Special Commissioner of Police (Welfare) Shalini Singh said.

According to police, total 396 personnel were given the booster dose, including a number of senior officers.

The special camp will continue on Thursday as well.

Similarly, vaccination camps will be organised at all the Delhi Police Wellness Centres and Covid Care Centres across Delhi to ensure full coverage of all eligible Delhi Police personnel at the earliest, police added.

In a meeting held on Tuesday with senior officers of districts and other units, the officers were strictly instructed to brief their personnel to take care of themselves and follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to prevent coronavirus amid rising cases among the force, police said.

“We have issued detailed SOPs in this regard and have listed the preventive measures to be taken. In Tuesday’s meeting, all the officers were asked to take care of themselves and the force to conduct briefings of staffers regularly and instruct them to follow the issued SOP strictly.”

“Being frontline workers, they are bound to perform their duties so they should do it with full precautions,” Singh asserted.

She further stressed that officers have been instructed to strictly convey to their personnel the importance of following social distancing, wearing masks and maintaining hand hygiene while on duty.

“We have also told the personnel that social distancing should be maintained while they are in their respective barracks and mess. They have been asked to sanitise their keys after their shift while they handover vehicles to the next shift incharge,” the officer said.

In another welfare initiative and to provide assistance to the Delhi Police personnel and their families, all personnel were informed about Delhi Police Wellness Centres functioning in places like Hauz Khas, Dwarka, Model Town, Shalimar Bagh, Kondli and Security Section in Vinay Marg, police said.

All the personnel were also directed to contact the respective in-charge of their unit for uploading the date of second dose of vaccination as mentioned in Covid vaccine certificate, they said.

“All police personnel are also informed about the counsellors available for providing Covid-related counselling and for uplifting mental health of the personnel and their families. They have been provided with names and contact details of the counsellors who would be available for them,” Singh said.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Chinmoy Biswal, who is also the spokesperson of the force, tested positive for the infection.

He is currently doing fine and under quarantine.

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana had on January 5 issued the SOPs for the force to follow to tackle the pandemic.

According to this order, all police personnel and their eligible family members who have not been vaccinated, may be motivated to complete the vaccination process.

“Those who have not been vaccinated due to medical reasons may be encouraged to seek medical opinion again for vaccination,” the order had said.

All police personnel may be motivated to take the precaution dose of the Covid vaccine and install and use the Aarogya Setu mobile app mandatorily, it saod.

Self-monitoring to be adopted by police personnel and any kind of illness may be reported without fail, to daily health monitoring officer, the order added.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that guards the country’s major civil airports and other vital installations has provided the precautionary or booster Covid vaccine jabs to more than 9,000 personnel since these doses were launched countrywide on January 10, a senior officer said on Wednesday.

Out of these, 2,500 personnel belong to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) security wing, its largest unit in the country in terms of number of personnel deployed.

The about 1.62 lakh personnel strength central force that functions under the Union home ministry has deployed more than 12,000 male and female personnel in the DMRC unit.

The force, according to official data recorded till Tuesday, has the highest number of active coronavirus cases, at 1,550, among the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) that includes the CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB apart from the NSG and the NDRF.

The total active cases in these forces are 4,539 with the CRPF having 1,198 infections, BSF 729, SSB 555, ITBP 311, NDRF 157 and NSG 39.

“The CISF has already vaccinated over 9,000 of its personnel with the booster dose across the country to enhance protection against coronavirus infection.”

“The vaccination drive is running across all the 353 CISF units including 64 airports and we will ensure that 100 per cent of our eligible personnel are inoculated at the earliest with the precautionary dose,” an official spokesperson said.

He said that “CISF warriors have being dealing with the COVID-19 menace, particularly at the Delhi Metro and airports, as front liners and have highest vulnerability due to exposure and contacts with the passengers”.

“More than 12,000 personnel are deployed in the DMRC unit of CISF to ensure safety of passengers and property of Delhi Metro that connects the national capital to neighbouring districts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and provides mass rapid transit to more than 35 lakh passengers daily,” he added.

It is expected, the officer said, that all eligible personnel of DMRC unit will get their booster vaccine by January, 20.

India began administering the precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers, frontline workers including personnel deployed for election duty and those aged 60 and above with co-morbidities from January 10 as a spike in coronavirus infections fuelled by the Omicron variant of the virus is being witnessed.