At a time when the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is raging across the country, Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP), Gautam Sawang, on Wednesday directed all the district police officers to follow a 10-point guideline framework chalked out by a state police officer to avoid the virus.
Sawang was referring to the ‘Dasa Sutras’ (10 rules) propounded by Prakasam district Superintendent of Police (SP) Siddarth Kaushal during the first wave the pandemic last year to enable the district police personnel to avoid contracting the virus.
“The Dasa Sutras programme has been working well and all the district police officers in the state should implement them to keep Covid at bay,” Sawang said.
Kaushal held a video conference on Wednesday with 2,026 policemen, including 2 ASPs, 13 DSPs, 148 sub-inspectors and other staff, on how to prevent Covid amid the raging second wave and implement the Dasa Sutras for their safety.
Kaushal said the 10 rules are part of the district police department’s overall response to coronavirus.
“We have to do some self-preservation of police frontline staff. It is more of an operational doctrine. It is a new way to perform our regular duty,” Kaushal had told IANS earlier.
According to the SP, the whole idea is to preserve the health of the policemen and mitigate and minimise the impact of Covid on them to be able to maintain a good service level.
The Dasa Sutras include no free movement of public in police stations, spatial reorganisation of police station premises, compartmentalisation of staff, personal movement control, detention centres at the circle level and standard operating procedures for all outdoor duties.
Others include tapping the social capital, sterilisation and sanitisation drills, assured access to medical goods and services and measuring, monitoring and managing (M3).
Aimed at containing the pandemic, Kaushal has called for restricted movement of people at the police stations.
A police station’s entry and exit points are clearly defined and regularly monitored. Complainants who come with grievances should go through thermal screening and only be allowed through a disinfection tunnel containing disinfectants such as sodium hypochloride solution.
Under spatial reorganisation of police stations, the officers are advised to take appropriate measures to ensure that people do not congregate in the same area when they come for legitimate reasons or other purposes.
The police personnel at the reception centre should receive and speak to the complainants through the separation counter, maintaining social distance with the complainants.
Up to 90 per cent of police station premises should be designated as restricted areas and people like courier and delivery boys should not be allowed into the station premises.
As part of the compartmentalisation of staff, duties must be divided into two shifts, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., depending on the number of staff working in the police station.
Likewise, as per requirement, all staff should be given night shift duties on a rotation basis, including all police personnel returning home immediately after completing their duties.
Under the movement control rule, police personnel are prohibited from travelling to another state during holidays. They should also be restrained from going to other states as well as other districts where Covid cases are high.
Only in case of emergency, the police personnel can be sent on leave with full permission and their travel details should be sent to the Covid cell.
Likewise, under the detention centres at the circle level, when the accused are arrested as part of investigation, they should be kept in a specially designated detention centre within the limits of the police station.
Under no circumstances they should be kept at the police station. Only young people should be on guard duty in relation to the arrested suspects and special kits for Covid care should be given to them.
According to the SOPs for all outdoor duties, only healthy personnel and the youth should be allocated to other states or districts for peacekeeping and other purposes.
They should be released only after the concerned SHO and superiors have conducted an awareness programme on the Covid precautions.
Similarly, all the police stations in the district must be sterilised and sanitised regularly.
Likewise, under assured access to medical goods and services, medicines, oxymeters, supplements and oxygen cylinders should be made available to the police personnel.
Special arrangements should be made to provide medical services such as doctor consultation, hospital admission, ambulance, medical insurance, diagnostics, vaccination etc.
Finally, as part of M3, everyday a report should be prepared on the health condition of the police personnel, containing details such as BMI, SPO2, body temperature, body pain, fatigue, vertigo, cough and other details.
The police officers should keep a track of the number of beds available in their respective areas and sub-divisions in the districts, with details such as oxygen powered beds, general beds, ICU beds and availability of specialists and drugs.