Cops have been at the forefront in the war against Covid-19.
New Delhi: As the coronavirus wreaks havoc in the national capital which has witnessed a record surge in the number of positive cases over the last one week, the Delhi Police, which is at the forefront of the war against Covid-19, has already lost 21 of its officers to the virus till 4 November this year.
A large number of Delhi Police officials have also been affected by the virus. Till earlier this week, the national capital’s police force has recorded over 5,000 positive cases of Covid-19 among its officers, out of whom 400 are still positive and are currently undergoing treatment or are under quarantine.
In all, 4,600 Delhi Police officials, who had been affected by the virus, have fully recovered and have already resumed duties, according to a senior officer of the Delhi Police.
However, keeping in view the large number of officials from the Delhi Police being affected by the virus, the Delhi Police has launched a series of welfare measures for its personnel. The Delhi Police has appointed multiple nodal officers who are responsible to ensure that no police personnel who is affected by Covid-19 is neglected and all help possible is given to the affected personnel and his or her family at the earliest.
Apart from this, the Delhi Police has also created six wellness centres for their staff from where the Delhi Police officers can get help. The wellness centres are also responsible for checking the health parameters of the police officers who are on duty on a regular basis.
A senior Delhi Police official told The Sunday Guardian on the condition of anonymity that the Delhi Police is providing nutritious meals to all its officers to keep them healthy, WhatsApp groups with senior officers in them have been created to keep a daily tab on the health of the officers on duty and especially those who are on patrolling and picketing duty and any junior officer can directly reach out to their senior officers in case of any problem.
“The police is, of course, at the forefront of this pandemic and knowing this, multiple measures have been taken by the Delhi Police force and senior officers, including the Commissioner of Delhi Police. Apart from the regular distribution of masks and sanitizers, we are distributing Ayur Raksha kits to all our officers from time to time, which consists of immunity boosting products. A helpline number has also been established where officers and their family members can call at any time for any kind of help related to Covid-19. We are also taking care of the mental health of all our officers as we know these are challenging times and staying away from their families can take a mental toll on our officers. Each district also has a dedicated Covid-19 monitoring team which is in touch with all the officers of the district to inquire about their health and they can directly get in touch with the DCP for any help,” the Delhi Police senior officer told this newspaper.
Delhi Police has also created adequate measures for quarantine facilities for their officers since the beginning of the pandemic, keeping in mind the nature of their job where the officers on duty are expected to be exposed to the virus.
However, the Delhi Police has now stopped the cash benefit of Rs 10,000 to Rs one lakh which was being given to help Covid-19 affected personnel. But a senior official from the Delhi Police said that it has been stopped because any officer affected by his or her hospitalisation and other expenses is being taken care of by the Delhi Police from time to time.
Some officers of the Delhi Police also complained about how the Delhi government, which had promised to pay Rs one crore to the next of kin of a deceased family, has not yet released the funds.
“21 of our officers from the police have died due to Covid-19 and on the line of duty. The Delhi government had promised that it will give Rs one crore to the next of kin of the deceased family, but till now, not a single penny has been released by the Delhi government,” a senior officer told The Sunday Guardian.