Police are setting up a committee purposely to oversee functions of their preparedness and response plan should there be a Coronavirus (Covid – 19) outbreak in the country.
Acting Police Chief Mostyn Mangau said this is to support other government agencies to respond to any potential high threat and impacts of coronavirus outbreak in the country.
“This committee is coordinated and with RSIPF’s bilateral partners, the Australia – Solomon Islands Police Development Program (SIPDP) and New Zealand – Solomon Islands Police Support Program (SIPSP),” Mangau told reporters, Thursday.
He added that the RSIPF will coordinate support for other government key stakeholders to look at improving our border control.
Mangau said the government key stakeholders are Solomon Islands Border Protections/Customs, Solomon Islands Immigration Department, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, National Disaster Management Office, Solomon Islands Ports Authority, International Airport authorities and neighbouring countries order and security authorities.
“The role of Police if there is if there is a confirmed case is to maintain law enforcement within the border controlled area and respond to any public order incident.”
Mr Mangau said police are also ready to provide assistance to other government agencies if requested to any declared quarantine sites or isolation sites identified by Health Authority.
“Police will also try to support other authorities to protect life and property and also facilitate movements in rescue, medical, fire, and any other essential services.
“Lastly police will liaise with NDMO and Ministry of Health,” he further added.
Mangau said police officers at the border control areas are equipped with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) as recommended by the Health Authority.
“At the moment we have own stock looking at PPE for our officers but we are currently officers engaged at borders used PPE that is recommended by the health authority.”
Mangau told reporters police can exercise their powers to direct passengers at attending to checkpoints if passengers resist health, immigration and customs officers at the airport.
He, however, added that so far there are no significant issues at the moment that required police intervention.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN