COVID-19 claims first cop in Kerala

Police officer succumbs to COVID-19 in Kerala
V P Ajithan was a sub inspector with special branch.

Kottayam/Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala lost its first police personnel to COVID-19 on Friday. V P Ajithan, 55, a sub-inspector attached to special branch, Idukki, died at Kottayam Medical College around 11.45pm after suffering a heart attack.

The cop, a diabetic and with a heart ailment, was undergoing treatment at the Idukki Medical College hospital after he tested positive. However, he was shifted to Kottayam Medical College hospital on Wednesday after his condition worsened.

V P Ajithan was actively engaged in COVID duty, a police press release said on Saturday.

A native of Poochapra, Velliyamattam, Ajithan was posted at the Kanjikuzhy station. It is said that he could have contracted the virus through his wife who was tested positive earlier along with his son. Later, his son and wife were tested negative.

This is the first time a policeman died due to COVID in Kerala.

The funeral of the officer was held this evening at Idukki with police honours.

In a Facebook post, DGP Loknath Behera condoled his death and said "losing a member of the family untimely is very sad and unfortunate."

"I only wish that other members of the Kerala Police family remain healthy and safe. All help and assistance shall be provided to the family," he said.

A driver with the Excise department had succumbed to COVID-19 in Kannur in June. The deceased, Sunil Padiyur (28) was under treatment at the Government Medical College in Pariyaram, Kannur.

According to police sources, at least 108 police personnel have been infected by the virus so far and over 80 have been cured.

The DGP also issued guidelines stating that those aged over 50 years should not be put on COVID duty and must be assigned only station work.

Those less than 50 years of age, but suffering from comorbidity issues also should not be assigned COVID duties. Senior officers should monitor the health of the policemen on duty, the DGP was quoted as having said.

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