KOCHI: People looking to reclaim vehicles that were impounded for violation of the Covid protocol will have to submit an RT-PCR negative certificate to do so. The Ernakulam rural police have introduced the stringent rule — claimed to be the first of its kind in the state — considering the increasing lockdown violations. K Karthick, Ernakulam district police chief (Rural), told TNIE that police officers are taking huge risks to save lives during the pandemic.
“But some people are least bothered. We found several motorists roaming around for no particular reason. Stringent measures are being implemented only to save people from contracting Covid,” he said.
According to police sources, in the past week alone, 2,750 vehicles were seized in Ernakulam rural district.
“Several police officers are now under treatment after they tested Covid positive. Most of them contracted the infection while on duty. We cannot take further risks by allowing these motorists to come freely to the police stations to claim their vehicles. The new rule is both a warning and a safety mechanism,” Karthik said.
Earlier, the police had made RT-PCR negative certificates mandatory for food delivery people after they were found to be violating the safety norms.“To ensure the smooth delivery of food, the government has eased restrictions on the functioning of food delivery operators. But some food delivery boys misused the relaxation. So we made an RT-PCR certificate mandatory for those working in the sector,” he added.
Meanwhile, a top official in the police department said the new rule will be implemented in other districts where violations are high.“Despite the government’s campaign and the police department’s enforcement activities, people continue to venture out for no valid reason. Such orders will assist the police in reducing Covid cases. We will soon implement it in other districts,” said the officer.