More than 700 policemen in Maharashtra - the worst hit state in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic - have got coronavirus so far and five of them have died, according to the data shared by the state police. Of 714 COVID-19 cases registered so far by the state police, 648 are active cases.
There have been 194 incidents of assault on policemen in Maharashtra since March 25 when a natonwide lockdown to tackle the pandemic began and 689 accused have been arrested for that, according to the state police.
In Mumbai, the city that has seen an alarming surge in number of COVID-19 patients, policemen above 55 have been told to stay at home. The city police took the decision last month after recording three deaths linked to the highly contagious illness.
On Friday, the chief of the city's civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC - Praveen Pardeshi- was replaced by Iqbal Chahal in a major shake-up in the agency that is in charge of the city's COVID-19 response.
The city, often known as India's financial capital, has reported more than 11,000 of nearly 19,000 coronavirus patients reported by the state.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday admitted that the state has not been able to break the chain of transmission as he appealed to the people to stay indoors. "We have to come out of the lockdown one day or the other. We can't be living permanently like this. But to come out of this sooner, you need to follow rules and maintain discipline of social distancing and use face mask," Mr Thackeray said.
The central government on Thursday said that Maharashtra was an area of particular concern and said it stood ready to help.
"The (government) is ready to help in every way possible - be it manpower increase, capacity building, technical assistance etc. or any kind of handholding that is required to manage the situation," Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said at a meeting with state health officials.