Chennai: Besides investigating crimes and inquiring complaints, the city police now have a different task in hand– stop coronavirus from spreading.
Yesterday during the Janta Curfew, the police department worked in tandem with the civic body and hospitals. Their main responsibilty was to keep people off the road. Raja, a Sub-Inspector says, ”I have never seen something like this in my entire life”. Most of the police personnel say the public co-operated with them.
For the next few days, their main duty would be crowd controlling. Tamil Selvi, Sub-Inspector of Velacheri, says, ”We will have to ensure people do not gather in public places. Hereafter, while coming out of home, everyone will have to wear a mask. At least use handkerchief or shawl as face mask.”
About the curfew, she said that it was just doctors, nurses, hospital staff and civic body using the roads for commute. The Corporation staff were cleaning and sanitising the roads. The people were well aware and stayed indoors.
For the past few days we have been running our own campaign educating people on handwash, giving handsanitisers and asking them to keep surroundings clean. She said that even the police personnel cleaned up a few places. In some places where there are hostels and paying guest accommodation, many of them are unable to travel back to native places such as Maharashtra and Karnataka.
”We asked the hostel owners not to pressurize them into leaving”, she says. Even the petitioners coming to the police stations are being made to wash hands with soap on coming in and leaving. But what about the security for police who are working day and night? Sathya, a Sub-Inspector at Vepery station says, ”Firstly, we are not scared of it. Some stations have asked women police not to come for duty. We are taking precautions and wearing masks all the time and washing our hands.”