A COP has tested positive for Covid after he was spat at by a suspect who ‘used the virus as a weapon’.
The officer, who works for the force in Cambridgeshire, contracted the deadly bug after the ‘disgusting’ incident.
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Cops are testing positive for Covid after being spat at by offendersCredit: Alamy Live News
Although the cases can’t be definitively linked to the assaults, campaigners say police must be vaccinated as a priorityCredit: PA:Press Association
They were targeted at midnight on January 6 after being called to reports of a concern for welfare at a home in Soham.
A second cop in Dorset has also tested positive after a similar incident.
Campaigners say police must be among the second wave to get the vaccine when 13million of the nation’s most vulnerable have received their jabs.
Chief Constable Nick Dean, of Cambridgeshire Police, said he was “disgusted” by the attack.
While the officer’s infection can’t be directly linked to the incident, it “puts into perspective the dangerous nature of policing”, he said.
And Cambridgeshire Police Federation chairwoman Liz Groom told the BBC said the suspect “did turn out to have coronavirus”.
“It seems a bit of a weapon to some people,” she said.
“It’s that extra threat – ‘I’ve got coronavirus’ – and then they spit.
“You can imagine the stress and the anxiety that causes the officer and also their family.
“The officers have families at home.
“What they don’t want to do is go home and infect their family as well.”
Chief Constable of Dorset Police called the incident a “disgusting and despicable act” – and said an officer with his force has also tested positive after being spat at.
“No one, especially our fantastic key workers, should have to put up with this,” he said.
Yesterday was the worst day for UK fatalities during the pandemicBoris Johnson has committed to rolling out vaccinates to 13m of the nation’s most vulnerable by mid-February
Anna Harvey, chair of the Dorset Police Federation, has called for PCs to get the Covid jab as quickly as possible after the attack.
“The Government needs to do the right thing by our officers and include them as a priority group in the Covid vaccine roll out,” she said.
“This is absolutely necessary to protect our members.
“Every day since the start of the pandemic, police officers have been putting themselves at risk dealing with Covid-19 related incidents.
“The majority are unable to work from home and now we can see fatigue starting to show.
“We have officers who are either off sick with the virus or self-isolating, adding pressure to the front-line services.”
During an interview on Good Morning Britain, Matt Hancock yesterday suggested police could join teachers and shop workers as priority groups for the vaccine.
The Health Secretary said he thinks there’s a “very good case” to deliver the jab to key workers after the most clinically vulnerable.
“We’ve got to vaccinate them first, because that’s what prevents people dying, and we’ve got to prevent pressure on the NHS,” he said.
“Then we can debate as a nation as to where we go next.
“Teachers, PCs and shop workers all have a good case as to whether they should be next, rather than just carrying on through the age ranges.
“We’re looking at it, but there’s no final decision yet.”
Boris Johnson has committed to vaccinating those most likely to die if they contract the virus by February 15.
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And while the UK has surged ahead in the race to defeat Covid – and is currently third in the world when it comes to the number of jabs given – the country yesterday suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic.
A further 1,564 deaths were recorded – more than at any other point since the crisis began.
Positive cases also rose by 47,525, bringing the total number of infections to 3,164,051.
The Health Secretary says teachers and cops may be among the next to get the jabCredit: Getty Images – Getty