Besides gloves and masks that have already been made mandatory, the policemen will now wear PPE and will carry thermometers with them, the SOP has suggested. For removing people to quarantine facilities and hospitals, police will only act after a “go-ahead” from the state health department. A senior officer said: “PPE have to be worn by officers when they enter any home for investigation-related purpose. This will depend on availability. However, there is no plan, right now, to use PPE during naka checking.”
According to sources, the guidelines were issued after a north Kolkata ASI in his early 50s was admitted to the special isolation ward of the MR Bangur Hospital. Earlier, police and civic officials had removed two central Kolkata street-dwellers to government treatment facilities after they showed “certain Covid-19 like symptoms”.
Lalbazar, sources said, had factored in reports that 10 cops in Madhya Pradesh and two in Delhi have already reported Covid-19 positive.
All the police stations and traffic guards — especially in north and central Kolkata — have already been provided with the first set of PPE and thermometers. “The process had begun around five days back. We are almost on the verge of completing the distribution. Besides this, the Disaster Management Authority and fire brigade have been requested to increase the frequency of disinfecting the traffic guards and police stations,” said an officer.
The number of PPE allotted to each traffic guard or police station will depend on the nature of their work and the areas they must visit. Lalbazar brass maintained that the safety of cops was of prime importance.
“We have periodically taken all safety steps in line with administrative orders,” said a senior officer. In addition, each police station has been provided Rs 50,000 that they can use for any Covidrelated expenses and maintaining basic hygiene.
“This can include purchase of any protective equipment like sanitizers, gloves and masks. The bills will have to be submitted to Lalbazar from where the final payments will be dispensed,” said an officer.
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