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March 31, 2020

Police at higher risk of COVID-19 due to work nature: IGP Mushtaq Mahar

Karachi

March 31, 2020

The inspector general of police (IGP) in Sindh, Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar, on Monday said “the police personnel are critically exposed to COVID-19 owing to the nature of their duty”.

In his new directives issued to his subordinates, the Sindh police chief said the police personnel were critically exposed to the risk of the coronavirus infection as chances for them to get infected were more owing to the nature of their duty.

A communication issued by the office of the IGP said the duties of the police force in the province had been multiplied due to the alarming increase in the coronavirus cases in Sindh.

IGP Mahar, in this connection, ordered the formation of teams comprising 10 police personnel in each district to do coordination in the case of an emergency and to take care of the police officials who contract the infection.

He said the officials of the police force had been performing their duties on the frontline of the fight against the deadly viral epidemic. He said there were high chances that police personnel could be infected with the viral disease owing to their frequent interaction with the public.

He urged the police personnel to take all safety precautions against the spread of coronavirus as this was “the only way to protect the entire police force”. The communication said the Central Police Office (CPO) was providing with special safety suits to the police officials and personnel doing their duties during the coronavirus emergency.

The police personnel have been directed to immediately report to their senior officials in case they develop early symptoms of the viral epidemic. In that case, the medical examination of the police personnel will be carried out at the near most health centre. Such police personnel will be isolated from the rest of their family members and office colleagues while they would also be advised to take the required precautions.

The suspected cases of coronavirus among police staff would be referred to the nearest isolation centre where they would stay for the 14-day mandatory isolation period. There would be an immediate testing of any suspected case belonging to the police force. The colleagues and family members of such cases among police personnel would also be asked to observe isolation.

Such people would also be sent to quarantine centres if they also show symptoms of the coronavirus epidemic. The relevant SSP would be responsible to remain in contact with the family members of the coronavirus cases among the police personnel. The welfare branch at the CPO would compile the data of such police personnel.

The field formations of the Sindh police in different districts are being informed about the isolation and testing facilities present in their respective districts. The police officials have been strictly asked not to hide information related to the coronavirus cases among police personnel as the police high-ups should know all details in this regard.

The communication also explained in detail the safety precautions to be adopted by the police personnel during the COVID-19 emergency. It contains the standard operating procedure to be adopted to treat a coronavirus case belonging to the police force. The copies of the communication were also sent to the additional IGPs, DIGs, SSPs, and SPs posted in various areas of Sindh.