CAPFs asked to prepare for providing assistance in waste disposal during COVID-19 immunisation

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New Delhi, Dec 29 (PTI) The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been asked to be prepared in providing assistance in safe disposal of medical waste that will be generated during the COVID-19 vaccination drive, expected to be rolled out soon, official sources said.

The forces that render a variety of internal security duties in the country, apart from border guarding, will also play a 'vital role' in assisting the medical system in organising camps and creating awareness about the availability and safety of getting a vaccine shot, they said.

Broad contours on the role of the police forces, especially the central ones, in the coronavirus vaccination drive was discussed during the recently concluded annual conference of police chiefs that was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

'The central police organisations and the CAPFs have been asked to prepare their manpower in case they are required to assist the healthcare system of the country in the safe disposal of the huge medical waste that will be generated during the country-wide coronavirus vaccination drive expected in 2021.' 'These forces have also been asked to identify their medical staff and other personnel who can help the healthcare system in the process of creating awareness about the safety of the vaccine and also in organising logistics for the drive,' an officer told PTI.

The medical waste that will be generated during this drive includes syringes, vials, cotton swabs, wrappers, gloves, sanitiser bottles and some other medical equipment.

As the healthcare workers are burdened with various COVID-19 duties since the outbreak of the pandemic, they can be helped by these forces in rendering auxiliary tasks, the officer said.

The CAPFs will ensure that the waste generated in their campuses or in their surroundings is properly disposed off. They will be prepared to act as and when required, he said, adding the forces have also been directed to prepare a database of their personnel who will be among the first to get the vaccine.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Director General S S Deswal had told PTI in an interview last month that the CAPFs will play a major role in the anti-coronavirus vaccination programme in the country and their healthcare facilities will also be part of this drive.

These forces, with an estimated strength of about 10 lakh personnel, include the BSF, CRPF, CISF and SSB apart from two other central forces NDRF and NSG.

A mock drill for administering the COVID-19 vaccine was carried out by the government on Monday in some select districts of four states to test the systems deployed and find out pitfalls before the commencement of the actual drive.

Another official said apart from COVID-19 measures, at the annual national conference of directors general and inspectors general of police action plans have been formulated for preparing a robust cyber security plan for their organisations and personnel.

It was also decided during the meeting, held virtually between December 2-5, that police organisations should prepare a record on how various challenges they faced were tackled and what solutions were deployed.

'This would help in better planning to tackle future challenges in the internal security, terrorism, left wing extremism, criminal investigations and border security domain. Every police organisation has been asked to prepare their record-sheet as per the task they render and expertise,' the second officer said. PTI NES NSD NSD