Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh police has ordered over 10,000 personal protective equipments and asked cops above the age of 55 years with health history to stay off the frontline duty after 28 of them tested positive.
Director General of Police Hitesh Chandra Awasthi also asked district police chiefs to purchase necessary safety kits at local level wherever needed.
"Till Thursday, 28 policemen have been found coronavirus positive in different districts of the state," Awasthi told PTI.
"We have already ordered 10,000 PPE kits. But due to shortage, only 3,000-4,000 kits have been received so far. Over 6,000 PPE kits are being purchased at the district level," he said.
"We have to take extra precautions to save our personnel from coronavirus," the state police chief said.
Directives have been issued to ensure that frontline police personnel, especially in hotspot areas, follow all security protocols using PPE kits, masks, gloves and sanitisers, according to Awasthi.
"We have given money, material, direction and guidance to local police chiefs to save our personnel," he said. "The districts have to access and purchase things required and give it to their men."
Asked about the number of personnel under quarantine, he said: "This number continues to change, but we are doing whatever is possible for saving our force from the virus."
A 'police corona helpline' has been set up at the DGP headquarters in Lucknow for guidance and counselling to the personnel.
"Policemen can contact this helpline if they have any personal problems or if they are worried about their family's health. It will continue during the lockdown period for 24 hours," the DGP said.
For the hotspots, after incidents of clashes with policemen is reported, the DGP has asked to take strict action against the guilty including invoking NSA against them.
"The policemen have also been asked to remain in their protective gear and have shields to save themselves in such situation," he said.
In the state, there are over 400 hotspots under 248 police stations in 57 of the 75 districts having over 5.8 lakh houses and a population of over 34 lakh, according to the police.
The DGP said directives had been issued to keep those police personnel, who are have past history of illness, free from frontline duties.
"Officers have been asked to make a list of personnel above 55 years of age and scan their health history before putting them on frontline duties.
"They have been asked to strictly follow these orders to protect subordinates from getting exposed to the deadly virus while performing their duties and further infecting others in the force," the DGP said.
It has been specifically told that personnel who are suffering from diseases related to respiration, lungs, heart and diabetes should be kept free from frontline duties.
Those deployed in the frontline duties are being briefed to strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and other instructions.