New Delhi, Sep 13 (PTI) From organising online training programmes for its staff to sending smaller teams to crime spots, the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has changed its work style during the coronavirus pandemic, an official said.
The FSL prioritised the northeast Delhi riots and also collected samples from the Nizamuddin Markaz which emerged as a coronavirus hot spot, a second official said.
'It was challenging but we accepted the challenge and went ahead. Our team in a way has worked as a crime warrior during the pandemic,' said FSL Director Deepa Verma.
Verma said the FSL has made special arrangements to send staff to crime scenes.
'Apart from giving PPE kits, we have decided to not send big teams to crime spots', she said.
A one-month specialised online training programme was organised to make the staff aware and prepare for 'smart working'. 'They were given training for every field,' she added.
She said it was for the first time that online training was given to experts with an objective 'that even if they have to handle things apart from their own domain they can do so'.
Verma said they have adapted to a new working style and their experts don PPE kits when they visit crime spots.
'We have ensured that all our staff protect themselves by taking all precautionary measures amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the counters where we receive samples, the staff have been given gloves, head gear, face shields, kits, shoes, shoe covers,' she said.
The FSL director said when they get samples, they wait for some time before working on them. 'Every sample has a different time for the survival of the virus on its surface. It is a very exhaustive exercise and we take help from hospitals on that basis. We had also written to AIIMS to seek their help and they helped us,' she explained.
The FSL also stores viscera of victims and they have even gotten samples of coronavirus patients, who died by suicide.
'The procedure is the same and in such cases, the body samples are preserved safely and studied after the stipulated waiting period, which is the time of degradation of virus. Every exhibit has different waiting time,' Verma said.
She said they usually have a waiting period of 24-48 hours as a precautionary measure before they start studying a sample and the place where they keep the sample, they sanitise it thoroughly. PTI SLB/AMP ABH ABH ABH