Chennai: Mass exodus from one place to another during coronavirus was unavoidable and many people undertook the journey despite knowing the risk factor involved.
And, trains played a huge role in taking people to their native places in large numbers. Hence, there was no surprise when 35 Railway Police personnel who were on the frontline were hit by the pandemic.
Thirty male and five female personnel from Chennai Central, Egmore, Tambaram and Korukkupet railway stations were affected.
After they recovered from the viral infection, they were given a warm reception by the department at a recent function.
They were welcomed by Director General of Police, Railways, C Sylendra Babu, Inspector General, Railways, Vanitha, Superintendent of Police, Railways, S Maheshwaran, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Railways, Murugan and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Railways, Edward.
Speaking to News Today, Sylendra Babu shares how he reacted to the news and handled his department without letting the morale down..
“The first police personnel was tested positive on 21 April at Central Railway Station after coming in contact with some conservancy staff who was hit by the virus. This made the station premises highly vulnerable. But, at the same time, it was a natural consequence of the viral spread and subsequently the station was immediately shut.”
After this, police personnel came back for duty in complete Personal Protective Equipment. The department distributed multi vitamin tablets, zinc tablets and concoctions such as Nilavembu and Kabasuba Kudineer.
Sylendra Babu personally contacted the affected persons and comforted them over the phone.
Most of them were assymptomatic. He also spoke to the family members and later visited them at their quarters, he said, adding that maintaining the brotherhood was essential in keeping up the morale of the team.
For the last eleven days there have not been any new cases. Sylendra Babu says it is challenging to ensure the same.
At Railway stations, everyone is getting in and out at the same time and ensuring social distancing is a mountainous task.
But, they have made it strict to ensure two-meter gap between passengers, forming a queue before getting on the train, disinfecting platforms, compartments and bathrooms and reminding passengers about general hygiene practices such as handwashing. They are even paying attention to sanitise door handles.
To prevent any further cases, he says Covid-19 testings are being done every 10 days and they are isolating persons. Those who rejoined were given fruit baskets, multivitamins, zinc tablets, immunity building drinks, PPE kits and an appreciation certificate.