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Police turn to pressure cooker steam therapy

They are using custom-made equipment to stay safe from COVID-19

Every day, personnel at Sarjapur police station gather around a pressure cooker that has been converted into an inhalation device. The cooker is filled with boiled water and topped with herbs and leaves from medicinal plants like neem, tulsi and eucalyptus. It emits steam that police personnel inhale through vents.

From practising pranayama to taking kashaya and zinc tablets, police personnel in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka are increasingly adopting different measures in an attempt to keep COVID-19 at bay. The latest trend is medicinal inhalation.

Harish V., station in-charge, recently ordered a custom-made cooker, which has a long steel pipe and a pair of vents that two police personnel can use at a time. “Staff have been asked to inhale steam after completing their shift, and before returning home,” Mr. Harish said .

The pandemic has taken its toll, not just on police personnel but also on their loved ones. At Sarjapur station, staff are given tablets. “However, when I came across this pressure cooker therapy, I decided to introduce it at the station,” he added.

This trend has caught on at Barke police station in Mangaluru where a steel pipe with four openings has been tied to a wooden frame. Police personnel can inhale steam through three vents while the fourth is connected to a pressure cooker via a rubber pipe.

Inspector Jyotirling Honakatti, who conceptualised this idea, said he inhaled steam in his house during his stint in Belagavi last year. “When Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar asked us to take steps to prevent COVID-19 infection, I took his permission to have this facility at the police station,” he told The Hindu.

Several police stations in Chitradurga, Shivamogga and Haveri districts have introduced this facility for personnel, while others have expressed interest in starting something similar. “We are getting inquiries from colleagues in neighbouring stations,” said a police officer from Sarjapur.

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