Need of Special Insurance Cover for Police Personnel

Synopsis:

The second wave Covid-19 virus is producing greater challenges in front of frontline workers (including police personnel) than the first wave. Hence, the special insurance cover for police personnel of 50 lakh rupees must be revived and extended to all front-line workers.

Background:
  • The second wave of Covid-19 induced the government to impose lockdown and curfews in some regions of the country.
  • After this, the hardships and challenges of frontline workers (including police personnel) got enhanced by a greater magnitude than the previous lockdown.
Challenges Faced by Police in First Lockdown:
  • Enforcement of Lockdown protocols as it was a first of its kind event for the whole country.
  • Providing Migrant Labour with ration, transport, and inter-State passes.
  • Dealing with the rising number of cyber-fraud cases, particularly those relating to online purchases and phishing.
  • Implementing SC judgment in Re: Contagion of Covid-19 Virus in Prisons’ (2020) case. 
    • Under this, the court directed High Courts to decongest prisons in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. They were ordered to release convicts on parole and under-trial prisoners on temporary bail.
How is the second wave more threatening?
  • In only 15 days, we are seeing a shortage of hospital beds, ICU beds, medical oxygen, and drugs.
  • The cremation grounds are reaching their full capacity due to the rising number of deaths. This is enhancing the degree of panic in society.

In the second wave, people are demanding enhanced protection for police personnel.

Why Insurance Cover for Police Personnel is required?
  • Enhanced Challenges: Apart from their regular duties, they need to:
    • Tackle the menace of people hoarding scarcely available medical products
    • Maintain public order in front of hospitals
    • Deal with Covid-19 status of criminals. If positive then police personnel need to quarantine him/her and later on produce before a magistrate post the negative report. 
  • Greater Risk: The second lockdown was imposed before all police personnel could be vaccinated, hence they are at higher risk. 
    • As per the Indian Police Foundation’s March 2021 tweet – 1,207 security men have died of COVID-19 and more than 2 lakh have been infected. The figure includes policemen of the State police and Central Armed Police Forces personnel.
  • Family Concern: They are working day and night in enforcing the Covid-19 lockdown which increases the probability of getting a Covid-19 infection. This enhances hardships for their families who might get infected by them.
Way Forward:
  • Firstly, the scheme of special insurance cover of 50 lakh rupees needs revival, and it should be extended to all front-line workers (including the police).
    • It was notified for the medical fraternity last year for a limited period of three months. 
  • Secondly, the Civil Society (including media persons and social activists) must come forward to lend a helping hand for the vulnerable sections.

Source: The Hindu

 

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