Cops in 31-40 age group worst-hit: ReportUpdated: Jul 13, 2020 01:14 IST
An internal assessment report prepared by the Mumbai Police to understand the spread of Covid-19 among its personnel till July 1 has found that personnel ages between 31 and 40 years were affected the most. Of the total cases, 930 personnel fall under this age group, says the report, a copy of which is with HT.
“Policemen above 50 years of age and those with comorbidities have been advised to stay home. Hence, the young lot of policemen are performing lockdown duties in containment zones and are comparatively more exposed to the disease. This has led to this age group reporting the maximum number of cases,” said Naval Bajaj, joint commissioner of police (administration).
Since March till July 1, 2,821 Mumbai Police personnel tested positive and 42 of them died. Fatality rate, however, was the highest at 82% among those aged above 50 years.
Mumbai Police, which mapped the 42 deaths, found that in 21 cases office locations of the deceased were near containment zones while in 19 cases the residences of the personnel were in containment zones.
According to the report, 37% of the infected personnel did not have any prior medical history. Among the ones with medical history, high blood pressure and diabetes were the most common ailments. However, the actual number of people with prior medical records could be higher since the police do not medical history of many of the patients.
A senior IPS officer said, “The department took all possible measures to protect the lives of its personnel, but was helpless in cases of infected policemen aged above 55 years or those with serious medical history. Reports of them losing the battle are coming quite regularly now.”
Mumbai Police, in its assessment, also found that local arms division was the most-affected unit with 785 men testing positive, while the west, south and central regions of the force accounted for 372, 341 and 323 personnel, respectively.
Of the total positive cases, 28% is in local arms division followed by 13% in west region, 12% in south and 11% in central region.
Local arms division is the reserve police force of the city police.
An IPS officer said that local police stations were manning containment areas during initial months and got exhausted due to continuous duty; hence in mid-May and June they were replaced by personnel from the Local Arms division.
“Most personnel of local arms division contracted the virus in their own locality or while commuting in and out of the city. Most of them stay in slum pockets and travel from Badlapur, Kalyan, Dombivli and Navi Mumbai to Mumbai,” Bajaj said.
LT Marg police station recorded the highest number of cases at 57, among all 94 police stations in the city.
Fatality rate in the Mumbai Police force is 1.34% while that of the city is 5.83%, said Bajaj, who is also designated as a nodal officer for Covid management for Mumbai Police by the state government.