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Maharashtra: Pune cop, suspected of coronavirus infection, runs pillar to post for treatment, hospitals refuse citing unavailability of critical equipment

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Pune are steadily on the rise. Yesterday, 104 new patients were found in Pune city and 126 in Pimpri-Chinchwad, taking the total number of patients in the area to 1101.

As the scourge of coronavirus rampages through the city of Pune, the assistant sub-inspector of the Pune Police, a part of the coronavirus task force to battle the spread of the contagion in the city, had to run pillar to post for his own treatment. The police officer had allegedly come in contact with coronavirus infected patient while discharging his duty. He was having trouble breathing.

Suspected of being infected by the coronavirus, one hospital in Pune refused to admit him while the other hospital refused to send an ambulance to fetch the ailing police officer. The family of the aforesaid policeman spent 4 to 5 hours desperately wandering around the city in search of a hospital and an ambulance that could agree to admit him. Finally, after journalists intervened and apprised the seniors of his predicament, the Additional Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner and others immediately took up the matter and rushed the indisposed police official to the hospital for treatment.

However, the incident has created an atmosphere of fear among police personnel. The police officials, being amongst the country’s front line defence against the coronavirus are wary that they may also contract the contagion in the line of their duty.

The number of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, particularly Pune and Mumbai are increasingly precipitously. Four policemen from a Pune police station were said to have contracted the infection. Concerned assistance sub-inspector was also on duty in this police station. He had taken a leave for two days but suddenly in the afternoon, he started feeling winded and complained to his family about the difficulty he was facing while breathing. The family rushed him to the central hospital but he was advised to go to another hospital citing unavailability of ventilators at the hospital. His family members inquired at some more hospitals but they were told the same thing that they were shortages of ventilators in the hospitals.

Terrified by the prospect that none of the hospitals had the equipment needed to save him, the policeman informed about the same to his relatives and some journalist friends in Pune and sought help from them. He also tried contacting his department officials but to no avail. His journalist friends then informed about the policeman’s precarious situation to the Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Morale, Deputy Commissioner of Police Shirish Sardeshpande and Assistant Commissioner Shivaji Pawar. They immediately swung into action and got an ambulance to transport the police officer. ACP Shivaji Pawar rushed to the hospital and reassured the family. The assistant sub-inspector was later admitted to a private hospital for treatment.

Though the condition of the police personnel is stable, his struggle of getting admitted to a hospital has engendered an atmosphere of fear among police forces tackling the coronavirus. Their families are worried that their sons and husbands may not be as fortunate as the assistant sub-inspector god-forbid if they contract the infection.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Pune are steadily on the rise. Yesterday, 104 new patients were found in Pune city and 126 in Pimpri-Chinchwad, taking the total number of patients in the area to 1101.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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