Among the infected cops, 29 are members of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police – three of whom tested positive in the last 24 hours
Altogether 65 police officers tested positive for Covid-19 till Saturday, while over 600 were kept in home quarantine, according to the Police Headquarters (PHQ) coronavirus cell.
Of the infected policemen, 29 are members of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), three of whom tested positive in the last 24 hours.
The second highest tally went to Gopalganj district with 11 coronavirus infected law enforcers, said PHQ sources. The Dhaka Range police have one infected member, both the Armed Police Battalion (APBn) and the Chattogram Metropolitan Police have two each, while Gazipur Metropolitan Police and the Telecom and Information Management unit of PHQ have one each.
Among other infected officers are a member of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit, one from the River Police, one in Mymensingh, one in Narayanganj and one in Narsingdi.
"We have to work with different people and in different places, which renders us vulnerable to the risk of exposure to Covid-19," said Shahin Fakir, officer-in-charge of Bangshal police station.
Apart from enforcing social distance, police also have to bury deceased coronavirus patients as well as take infected people to hospital.
The situation has been worsened by a lack of safety equipment.
Police officials said the government has provided at least 60-80 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to every police station.
However, the number is not enough as DMP sources said at least 120 police officers are working from every police station, leaving about 40-60 of them unprotected. The rest of the personnel make do with raincoats.
Police officials also fear that officers who live in police barracks are at a high risk of infection since they live in close proximity with one another.
To contain the coronavirus pandemic among members of the police force, the DMP has made some changes to its duty rosters.
Teams will now work for a week and then stay under home quarantine for the next seven days. All personnel have also been ordered to wear PPE while on duty. Vehicles used for patrol duties must be disinfected at the end of duty. Officers have also been instructed to take hot showers after they get off duty.
Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general at the PHQ, said police hospitals have arranged separate coronavirus treatment units as a preparation to tackle any negative situation that may arise.