THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 130 police officers involved in COVID-19 operations have been quarantined so far across the state, a figure that could reveal the extent of the danger under which they are functioning. As per the official records, around 20,000 cops are directly connected with COVID-related work which amounts to almost one third of their workforce.
The cops who interacted with passengers at airports and those who worked in COVID hotspots were asked to go on quarantine to thwart the chances of the disease spreading to others in uniform. The most number of cops quarantined are in the Thiruvananthapuram city limits. Around 75 cops underwent home quarantine, while about four were sent to isolation in the city limits.
"Many of those had been posted at the immigration desks to screen foreigners and NRIs as they arrived at the airport. Some others were on duty in various places in the city where COVID-19 positive cases were reported," said a police source.
City Police Commissioner Balram Kumar Upadhyay said none of his men had tested positive so far and the quarantine was done as a precautionary measure. He added that the officers have been assigned duties keeping in mind their health and well being.
"We have 2000 officers on COVID-19 duty. We deploy a section of them for three days and then replace them with the next batch. This is to ensure their safety as well as prevent chances of the entire force getting infected in one go. We are basically managing our resources prudently," he said.
The rest of the quarantine of cops occurred across the state, including places like Kasargod and Kannur. Headquarters ADGP Manoj Abraham said the officers are being deployed in three shifts to minimize their exposure. He said so far no positive cases were reported among officers and hence there is no need to think of any replacements.
"Right now our focus is on fighting the contagion. All the members of the force are doing their job. We hope that our people will continue to remain safe and healthy. We don't think we need to raise any reserves or replacements now," he added.