With Shimla — the capital town of Himachal Pradesh ranking high in the country for Covid-19 infection rate at 183.1 per cent, there is a new worry gripping the state, especially its police force.
Twenty-three fresh Covid positive cases were reported in Himachal Pradesh, during the past 24 hours raising the total number of personnel infected to 1,468, including one casualty.
Director-general of police Sanjay Kundu on Friday issued detailed guidelines to all heads of the police wings to ensure fullest safety measures to guard against the infection.
“Apart from strict compliance of compulsory and proper wearing of the masks and gloves at the times and use of face shields in public, the policemen must cut down on short leave and unnecessary movements and travels (during leave) that makes the other personnel vulnerable,” he noted in a note to senior officers.
All heads should also get the personnel under their command tested 100 per cent for Covid with thermal scanning and use of oximeters apart from imposing restrictions on attending large social gatherings.
He instructed all the police personnel to meticulously follow social-distancing norms and hand hygiene and wearing masks and visiting the nearest doctor in case of symptoms of Covid or breathlessness.
“Physical meetings must be avoided as far as possible and digital meetings on video conference and file movement via e-office must be adopted. It is imperative that police personnel take care of themselves. Being frontline warriors, only then will they be able to perform their duties towards society,” said the DGP.
With the high court also invoking its judicial powers, the state government admitted that issues flagged by the court were being addressed to combat the pandemic, and save lives of the infected people, currently in the hospitals, or undergoing home treatments.
“We have taken the orders very seriously. The government is highly concerned about the spike which is also a result of carelessness on the part of the individuals during social gatherings, and wedding functions. The Hon'ble court has also reminded the people about their responsibility too .We will examine suggestions extended by the Court. But the threat of the infection spread is not from those coming from outside but it's about managing the things within the community and hotspots in the districts,” said Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The data available with the state government puts Shimla at the top in the country with 183.1 % rise in the infection, between October 31 to November 30 adding 7,073 fresh cases. Next to Shimla is district of Lahaul Spiti with 177.8 % infection, and thereafter the district of Kullu having shown 131.8 % infection during the same period.
The districts of Mandi, Chamba, Hamirpur and Kangra also are in the high infection ranges in the country with 69.9 % , 69.1 %,66.7 % and 63.6 % rate of infection during November 2020.
“If the trend is not reversed before December 15 and circle of infection is not broken, we are heading for a situation that could go out of hands due to upcoming winters. Since Himachal Pradesh has already witnessed early snowfall, things could be worse,” warned a senior medical professional at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) hospital.
Meanwhile, the police at Kullu have shown remarkable activism to enforce the Covid guidelines, carrying out surprise checks on wedding functions and other social gatherings.The government has restricted the number of persons to 50 and a mandatory permissions from the local magistrates for any social functions.The applications can be sent online for such permissions, said an official.
One person – Hari Dass was arrested under section 188/269 IPC and section 51 of the Disaster Management Act ,who was an organiser at a wedding function in Manali (Kullu) ,where the police raided two days back, and noticed violations of the social-distancing norms. It was first arrest in the state for such violations.
Total number of deaths in Himachal Pradesh are nearing 700 and number of cases 34,355.
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