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Covid-19 outbreak:Sister pleads on a video to get breathless Mumbai Police constable admitted

By Pratik Salunke and Jayprakash S Naidu, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 08, 2020 01:13 AM IST

Amid the rising cases of Covid among cops, a 50-year-old policeman’s sister in Ghatkopar made an emotional appeal in a video on Sunday morning to get her ill brother admitted to a hospital, alleging their attempts to hospitalise him, as he faced breathing problems, failed. While the video went viral, Naval Bajaj, joint commissioner, administration, Mumbai Police, who is also the nodal officer designated by the state for providing aid to police personnel in the city, said the family did not contact the helpline.

At the time of going to press on Sunday, the constable was being admitted to Kasturba hospital and an ambulance was sent to his residence.

The policeman, a resident of Ghatkopar police quarters who is attached to Matunga police station, developed fever four days ago and started to face breathing problems on Saturday morning. “My brother has been discharging his duties for the past two months. Our family doctor advised a blood test. My brother had typhoid, but then he developed breathing issues,” the woman said in the video in which her ailing brother is seen sleeping on the floor. HT did not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

The woman said they decided not to waste any time and went to private hospitals in Ghatkopar. “We decided to get him tested for Covid 19 from a private lab, reports of which will be available on Monday,” she said.

BJP leader Ram Kadam who tweeted the video said the admission was delayed as authorities want the Covid-19 test report. “The COVID helpline is following up. He did not contact the helpline. We are doing the needful. The Mumbai Police started a 24x7 Covid-19 helpline number — 9137777100 – on April 26 after two deaths were reported in Mumbai Police due to Covid-19. The helpline has been made operational to help police personnel with updated information on where beds are available and to answer their Covid-related queries,” said Naval Bajaj.

“We have received 1,700 phone calls since the helpline was started. A majority of queries are for seeking a hospital bed or details on testing centre. We have our own ambulances which we use to take our personnel to hospital,” said an assistant police inspector (API) working at the Covid-19 helpline facility.

COVID-RELATED CYBERCRIMES

A total of 461 cyber-crimes related to Covid-19 such as fake news, hate speech, rumours and other cybercrimes have been registered and 250 people have been arrested till Saturday, according to the Maharashtra Cyber Department. The team has sent 160 notices under CrPC section 149 to individuals in their inboxes for posting offensive, abusive, defamatory and malicious posts on social media. “Fearing further action, over 50 per cent of these individuals removed the objectionable and offensive posts. It was an effective measure,” said special IG (cyber) Yashasvi Yadav, of Maharashtra Cyber Department.

Another cyber police officer from the department said, “More than 50% of the 461 cases are of hate speech and speeches where religious colour has been given to Covid-19.” In 192 cases, a messaging application was used to spread rumours, fake news and hate speech. Of the total, 46 cases are from Beed, 38 from Pune rural, 33 from Jalgaon and 28 from Mumbai.

14,846 people booked in Mumbai

From March 20 till Saturday night, a total of 7,245 FIRs have been registered in the city against 14,846 people and a total of 9,037 people have been arrested. Of these, 20 were booked and 17 arrested on Saturday. A majority of the cases (4,418), 61%, are for gathering in public. It is followed by 2,268 cases for not wearing masks and 1,193 cases for use of vehicles for non-essential services. The remaining are against hotels, pan shops and other shops for operating despite being counted as non-essential service. Apart from them 141 FIRs are unspecified violations and 53 FIRs for violating quarantine orders.

STATE REVIEW

Meanwhile, across the state, 1,23,424 FIRs have been registered for lockdown violations and 23,866 people have been arrested. This includes 718 cases against those who violated the quarantine order and 1,330 FIRs are against illegal transport as movement for only essential services is allowed. As many as 80,197 vehicles have been seized and a fine of 6.62 crore collected. A total of 841 people have been arrested for manhandling and obstructing on-duty policemen. Also, the state police control rooms have received more than one lakh calls. A total of 86 policemen and 45 health professionals have been injured while discharging their duties.

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