Maharashtra: 13 special squads to keep an eye on people advised home quarantine for 14 days

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The officials also said people who had arrived from another country or anyone who had come in contact with infected cases have also been suggested home quarantine. (File)

Amid the rising number of cases of violations by those advised to observe home quarantine in wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Mumbai Police on Saturday formed 13 special squads to keep an eye on such cases. Police said there were chances that such people, who have been advised to follow home quarantine for two weeks, might be infected. However, they added that there have been cases where people have not followed suggested measures. Police also said such people might now face legal action.

According to police, the special squads will be supervised by the zonal deputy commissioner of police. “As there are 13 zones across Mumbai, one team each will keep an eye on their respective zone. The squads will monitor activities of people who have been advised to observe home quarantine and report to their zonal DCPs,” an officer said.

Officials said as part of their job, the squad will also make regular rounds to homes of such residents and if they were found to be absent from home, then they would forcefully be sent to isolation centres and, if necessary, police could also register an FIR against them for violating quarantine rules.

On Friday, Gujarat police booked three persons after they failed to follow home quarantine orders. Several people with BMC stamps of home quarantine on their hands were found boarding a train, following which necessary action was taken. However, as cases of infected people have been increasing by the day, to send a stern message, police have decided to take action.

A senior police officer said, “We have observed that people advised to follow home quarantine are stepping out and putting other people at risk. It is disappointing to see how people can be so negligent and we have to enforce such measures on them. Hence, we have decided to go hard on such people.”

The officials also said people who had arrived from another country or anyone who had come in contact with infected cases have also been suggested home quarantine. “So, their details, including addresses, are available with the authorities that will be passed on to the squads. Following this, we will track them through GPS and make surprise visits,” an officer said.