Delhi Police to check Aarogya Setu app of all visitors to police buildings
The Delhi Police have launched a 16-point action plan to educate people daily, both online and offline, about precautionary measures against Covid-19Updated: Oct 24, 2020, 13:54 IST
Anticipating a spike in Covid-19 cases during the winter and ongoing festive season, the Delhi Police have launched a 16-point action plan to educate people daily, both online and offline, about the precautionary measures with “wear the mask, follow social distance, and maintain hand hygiene” as the campaign’s tagline.
To raise awareness about the key precautionary measures, the police will use all available resources such as websites, police vehicles, buildings, digital screens, and hoardings across the city. HT has seen a copy of the action plan titled ‘Public Heath Response to Covid-19: Campaign for Covid-19 appropriate behaviour’. Delhi Police chief SN Shrivastava’s office issued the plan last week.
“Our objective behind launching this action plan is to propagate the government of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s awareness campaign regarding Covid-19,” said Shrivastava.
As per the plan, people visiting any police building in the city will be asked to show their health status on the Aarogya Setu contract tracing app. If they do not have the app installed on their smartphones, they will be advised to do so.
A police officer, who did not wish to be named, said if a visitor is in urgent need of police assistance or does not have a smartphone, he or she will be allowed to enter a police building after following other Covid-19 related protocols. “But if the matter is not urgent and the visitor has a smartphone, the person would be urged to first install the app and then enter the building.”
The police’s emergency helpline, 112, which receive 15,000-20,000 calls daily, will send auto-generated text message “wear mask, follow social distance, and maintain hand hygiene” after each call as part of the plan. Similarly, all police correspondence, First Information Reports (FIRs), traffic fine notices and text messages, the notices to witnesses, complainants, e-FIRs, lost and found reports, and no-entry permissions will carry the tagline.
According to the Delhi government’s health bulletin, 4,086 new Covid-19 cases and 26 deaths were reported on October 23, taking the total number of confirmed infections in the city to 348,404. The toll from the disease rose to 6,189.
Keeping in view the heavy footfall on streets for festival shopping, all police vehicles fitted with public address systems will make announcements about the precautions twice daily at 386 markets, 1,490 bus stands, and other crowded places.
The police estimate that nearly 98,000 people would be covered daily through these announcements. Also, posters and standees with the tagline message would be put up in shopping malls and complexes with a target to reach 91,000 people daily.
According to the plan, the home page of all Delhi Police websites will also display the tagline. Also, each Twitter handle of the police department will tweet about the precautionary measures that will also be displayed on all digital screens installed at various locations, and in waiting rooms of the police offices.
“All these Twitter handles collectively have nearly 3.1 million followers. It means that through tweets that many people will be reached with the message about wearing masks, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing to avoid getting infected with Covid-19,” said another police officer, who was involved in drafting the plan.
Health experts welcomed the campaign but cautioned against harassment. “There have been instances where people were harassed and fined for not wearing masks or maintaining social distancing. It is my personal opinion that the police’s initiative should only be towards creating awareness among the public and not prosecuting or harassing them,” said Dr Jugal Kishore, who heads the community medicine department at New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.