Vizianagaram: A 57-year-old deputy superintendent of police (DSP), J. Papa Rao, attached to the Central Crime Station (CCS), Vizianagaram city, died of COVID-19 on 18 April while undergoing treatment. Rao's family members were also infected with the virus and were availing treatment in private hospitals in Vizag.

Papa Rao was admitted to a private hospital around three days ago in Vizag city after he tested positive for COVID-19. He breathed his last on Sunday morning.

Rao was a native of Sivarampuram village under Saravakota mandal in Srikakulam district. He joined the police service as a sub-inspector in 1991, was promoted to inspector of police in 2008, and became the DSP in 2014. Rao had served earlier as inspector of police and as assistant commissioner of police in Vizag police commissionerate. He had also served in various ranks in the Vizag Rural police.

Vizianagaram police chief B. Raja Kumari said Papa Rao was a committed police officer and had been serving as DSP of CCS since February 2019. He had helped detect various crimes in the district, she added.

Many police officers remembered Papa Rao as a humble and honest man and a great police officer. His sudden demise is a great loss to the police department, they said. Rao's death has caused grief in his hometown and in the police department.

Rao's wife and two sons were availing treatment for COVID-19 in Vizag city. Their condition is said to be stable. Rao was living in Madhavadhara in Vizag city.

Police chief Raja Kumari appealed to the people to take necessary precautions to fight against the COVID-19 and said the virus spreads faster in the second wave than the first wave.

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