Chennai police ready to help COVID-19 volunteers

A few of them were allegedly stopped

Following complaints that a few volunteers carrying food and other essentials for COVID-19 patients were stopped on roads, the Chennai police said they were ready to help them.

Many volunteers were delivering essentials or medicines to families affected by COVID-19. On Tuesday, there were reports that some volunteers carrying medicines and food were stopped and their vehicles were impounded by the police, who insisted on e-registration.

When the issue was brought to the notice of senior police officers, they said they had not received any complaint from any volunteer. “Volunteers play a crucial role in the fight against the pandemic. We are ready to help them in case of any difficulty while they are going out for genuine reasons. In fact, they can approach the Deputy Commissioners concerned for immediate assistance,” said a senior officer.

“We want to ensure that people should not loiter in the guise of volunteers. Volunteers can apply for e-registration or they can get a letter or a signed statement from the officials in charge, if they are working with the Chennai Corporation,” said the officer.

A senior official of the Greater Chennai Corporation said the civic body had started issuing passes for NGOs and community service volunteers helping COVID-19 patients. The police would not prevent the NGOs that had received emergency passes from the Corporation, he said.

The Corporation had deployed 14,000 volunteers for helping patients. More NGOs would be permitted to help residents, officials said.

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