Tamil Nadu, the country's second most-affected state by the coronavirus pandemic, lost its first police personnel to the dreaded disease today. Police Inspector Balamurali, who had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in June, served at the Mambalam Police Station in Chennai as Law and Order Inspector.
He was receiving treatment at the Corona Care Centre inside the IIT Madras campus and had showed improvement. However, his condition deteriorated and he was moved to the Rajiv Gandhi Govt Medical College Hospital in the city, where he died.
Sources said Chennai Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan had arranged for expensive drugs to save the inspector's life.
So far, around 600 police personnel in the state have tested positive and around 250 have recovered, including an IPS Officer.
The son of a police officer, 47-year-old Balamurali was an engineer by training and had joined the state police force in 2000.
He is survived by his wife, daughter and son.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami condoled the death of the officer and spoke to his family over phone.
The Tamil Nadu government has promised a job with the state government to an eligible member of the family of those officials who die of coronavirus.
The state has also free treatment and relief of Rs. 2 lakh for families of all officials who contract coronavirus and Rs. 50 lakh for those who die of the disease, contracted while on Corona containment duty.
However, it is not clear if Balamurali's family would be eligible for the Rs. 50 lakh relief sum.
While Tamil Nadu has more than 50,000 cases of COVID-19, 35,556 are from Chennai alone where 451 have died of the disease.
Concerned by the alarming numbers, the state capital and a few more districts will go into complete lockdown mode starting tomorrow till the end of June.