SECURITY personnel manning the New Zealand High Commission residential premises at Panatina Ridge (Tanakake) that currently houses seven New Zealand expatriates on self-quarantine are demanding PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) from responsible authorities.
Liberty Protection Services provides security personnel on a 24-hour shift with three officers per shift.
Speaking to this paper, a group of security officers said that since the arrival of the seven on Monday, they have not been provided with protective equipment – except for facial masks.
“Prior to their (the seven expats) arrival, we were told by the High Commission Office that we would be given protective equipment in the form of gowns, masks, and hand sanitizers.
“Nothing of such have been given to us except for a pair of masks,” a spokesman for the group, Jonathan Mendara said on Wednesday.
He added that there were no clear instructions from the High Commissioner’s office except for the application of social distancing.
Mendara claimed that shortly after their arrival, one of the expats gave money to a security officer asking him to buy him cigarettes at a nearby canteen.
“One of the men gave my colleague money to go find him cigarettes at the canteen – he then took the money (without using any hand sanitizer as none was provided) went to the canteen to buy cigarettes.
“The person behind the counter refused to take or touch the money after knowing that it had been given by one of the New Zealand nationals currently in self – quarantine.
“This is indeed a high-risk situation for us security officers – we don’t have any hand sanitizers, no gloves, no gowns – only masks,” Mendara said.
Comments are sought from the NZ High Commission Office.
By ANDREW FANASIA