Kerala Director General of Police (DGP) Loknath Behera ordered the exemption of police personnel above 50 years of age from COVID-19 related field duty. Police officers suffering from comorbidities have also been exempted from active field duty, regardless of their age.
A circular issued by the Kerala DGP states that police officers must follow health protocols at all times and avoid going out other than to offices and for essential needs. It also said that cops who have tested positive for Coronavirus must be followed up properly, to ensure that they get the best available treatment. Only one officer is allowed to be posted for the daily monitoring of police officers under treatment.
The district police chiefs have been instructed to conduct webinars, online classes or briefing to keep up the morale of the force. The directions have been issued in the wake of an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the Kerala police force.
The decision by the Kerala DGP came after a 55-year-old Sub Inspector undergoing treatment for Coronavirus died late on Friday at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital.
V P Ajithan, who was attached to the Idukki special branch, was actively engaged in COVID-19 duty, a police press release said. The SI, a diabetic and with a heart ailment, was undergoing treatment at the Idukki medical college hospital after he tested positive.
He was shifted to Kottayam Medical College hospital after his condition worsened, the release said. He died at around 11.30 pm on Friday night after suffering a heart attack. The funeral of the officer was held at Idukki with police honours.
In a Facebook post, DGP Loknath Behera had condoled his death and said "losing a member of the family untimely is very sad and unfortunate. I only wish that other members of the Kerala Police family remain healthy and safe. All help and assistance shall be provided to the family", he said.
At least 108 police personnel have been infected by the virus so far and over 80 have been cured, police sources said.
(Image for representation, Credits: PTI)