CHENNAI: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic starting to infect the men and women in uniform — who are in the forefront of the fight against the outbreak — the personnel are standing their ground. Over the last 10 days, more than 10 police personnel have tested positive for the virus in the city alone.
While some of them have returned home after treatment, others are still in hospitals. “We know there is risk in this job and we have to live with it. Moreover, it’s for the good of the nation we are on duty. Mostly we try to conceal the fear and encourage our family, saying that everything will be alright,” says R Sobhana, a police Inspector in the city.
It is the families of the personnel who are scared the most. Parents of constable Kumaran attached to K K Nagar police station, call him every day asking him to come home to Thiruvallur. “My parents are old and I have to explain to them why me coming home is not safe for them. I stay with my friends and I’m posted in a containment zone. Even if I don’t have symptoms I might be a carrier. It’s scary, but it’s my duty to ensure the outbreak is contained,” says Kumaran.
A colleague and friend of one of the police personnel who tested positive for the covid-19 says that the family of the patient is in the hometown and it is hard to console them. “I try to pacify them as they are desperate to come to the city to be with their son. I assured them it will all be over soon and that he will be back with them.” To make monitoring the public easy for the police personnel, the Chennai city police initially excluded women police from night shifts and kept them away from vehicle checking. Elderly police personnel over the age of 55 were asked to carry out desk jobs.
Now they are planning to bring out home quarantine for 20% personnel every week, thus maintaining enough strength to run police stations and also check for covid-19. “Since the beginning of lockdown the work of police has been varying from maintaining social distancing, creating awareness, going on bandobast for health staff, convincing angry mobs that it is for the greater good and at the same time investigating crime. The police force has shown vibrant strength in carrying out the orders inspite of the corona scare without considering their safety. Young police personnel on duty in many cases were open to carry out extra duties instead of their female or elderly colleagues. It is difficult times but we will surely thrive,” said a senior police officer in the city.
Chennai police are planning to bring out home quarantine for 20% of the personnel every week, thus maintaining enough strength to run police stations and also check for covid-19
10 Over the last 10 days, more than 10 police personnel have tested positive for the virus in the city alone
Difficult task: Cops are exposed to the virus in many ways. They are posted in check points to perform vehicle checks, besides being deployed in containment zones and hot spots
3 Three fire and rescue personnel in Chennai tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday