Hyderabad: The outbreak of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has affected the police department in the city, resulting in fewer patrolling staffers and suspension of contactless policing, including drunken driving checks.
With nearly 70 cops testing positive on an average every day, almost every police station in the city has staffers infected with the new variant.
“Being frontline warriors, we cannot escape it despite all measures being put in place, including a bar on visitors to police stations and offices. But, trouble and crime keep happening,” a senior official from Hyderabad city police said.
Another official said “We have no idea about who is infected and who is not. We have to be out there and face it regardless of the intensity of the situation. We are managing with the available staff even as cases keep mounting in the department. Although the infection is milder and does not require hospitalisation, the way it is spreading is a cause of concern,” he said.
A traffic police official from Rachakonda said that as many as 65 cops are presently down with the virus and others who came in touch with these officials have been undergoing tests. “It has worsened this time as ailments like common cold have been rising due to untimely rains. Every cough and sneeze is scaring the public and us. Personnel from the traffic department, most of whom are on the roads, are highly vulnerable,” he said.
On suspension of drunken driving checks, “We advised our patrols, after a meeting with the commissioners, not to conduct such checks. However, it will resume once the situation gets normal,” an official said.