MUMBAI: Four more policemen succumbed to Covid-19 from the state force between Friday and Sunday, taking the toll to 243 in Maharashtra. Two of the policemen were from Mumbai. In the last 24 hours alone, 169 state police personnel tested positive for coronavirus.
With the deaths of police constables Balkrishna Kerekar, 56, and Lalit Bhondave, 41, the toll in the Mumbai police force has reached 84. Kerekar was on mandatory leave since April following orders by the commissioner of police asking all those over 55 years to stay at home. “Kerekar’s kidneys had failed. He used to take dialysis every three days,” said his superior at the Bangur Nagar police station, Shobha Pise. It is not clear how Kerekar contracted the virus infection at home. On September 8, he was admitted to a private hospital by his family after he took ill. He died on Saturday. His family, residing in Malad East, hasn’t tested positive.
Bhondave was on sick leave for a while as he was suffering from epileptic fits. “His wife moved him to a private hospital in Kalyan on September 21. He tested positive for Covid two days later. Senior officials in the force put in a word at the Gurunanak Hospital in Bandra and a bed was made available for him. Bhondave was taken in an ambulance with a ventilator to the hospital,” said a colleague. He couldn’t make it and passed away within two days on Friday. Bhondave is survived by his wife and two children. Colleagues said he was dedicated towards work. His superior at Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station, senior inspector Rajesh Pawar, is recovering from Covid at home.
Among the other personnel who succumbed to the virus were constable Yadavrao Bhoyar, 55, from Desaiganj police station in Gadchiroli and constable Rajendra Khot, 51, from the Vashi police station in Navi Mumbai. Bhoyar died on Saturday afternoon and Khot early on Sunday.
From March till date, 22,629 police personnel tested positive for Covid, of which 19198 have recovered. At present, 3190 personnel are positive including an additional commissioner rank officer.

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