NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police Tuesday told the Delhi High Court that it was providing barracks and retiring rooms facilities to its personnel in the police stations so that they do not carry the COVID-19 infection to their homes and infect family members.
The high court said the police force knows how to maintain social distancing and follow COVID-19 protocols and added that unless there is medical data to show the outbreak of the infection in the barracks, it is not required to direct the police to provide for alternate accommodations to its staff.
Taking note of the submission, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said, “The logistical support which is historically available to the police personnel in the form of barracks and retiring rooms is sufficient to cater their needs. At this stage, we are not inclined to pass any order on this.”
The court had earlier directed the Delhi Police to file its status report on the facilities available to their personnel as it was informed that a large number of policemen who are posted at hospitals, crematoriums and oxygen refilling stations are also exposed to the virus and 25 of them have already died and they should also be provided with alternate accommodation.
The court was informed by the Delhi Police that out of over 80,000, around 14,000 police personnel got infected in the first and second wave of COVID-19 and some have died and currently out of 5947 infected officials, only nine are hospitalized.
“We have otherwise a healthy force. We are taking care of our force very diligently,” DCP Rajesh Deo told the bench.
The bench was also informed by Delhi Police’s counsel that 90 per cent of the police personnel have taken both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 96 per cent of them have taken the first dose.
It was also told that two COVID-19 health facilities have been set up for police personnel and their families and ambulance facility has also been started for them.
Senior advocate Krishnan Venugopal, who had raised the issue of providing protection to police personnel, said policemen have been helping people who come with their loved ones to cremate the bodies.
He said policemen are also lifting the bodies and they need to be respected for their services and governments should make arrangements for providing them separate isolation facilities.
The counsel for police informed the court that police personnel of the ranks of assistant sub inspector (ASI) and above are being provided separate retiring rooms to rest and isolate in the police stations and others are given barracks.
He said the staff has the option and facility to stay in these facilities and not return to homes.