The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, has directed that samples of 10,000 officers who took part in enforcing the restriction on movement in some parts of the country, be taken and tested for the novel coronavirus.
This comes after the three-week lockdown imposed on four cities -Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country- was lifted by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, in his address to the nation.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsnite programme, the Director of Public Affairs, Supt. Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, explained the rationale of the large scale testing is to identify police officers who came in contact with infected persons while enforcing the lockdown directive.
She said this will help identify officers with the virus and quickly seek treatment for them.
“The mission is to test as many people as possible and the Police administration has taken the initiative for police officers who performed the specific duty to be tested.
“At the moment some samples have been taken but due to delays and backlogs of samples [we are waiting for results]. However, processes have started.”
Responding to the question about if the decision will not affect the human resource base of the Service, Supt. Abayie-Buckman said, measures have already been put in place to handle this.
She stated that the Ghana Police force will still be fully operational even if some of their officers contract Covid-19.
However, she was hopeful that, after the rigorous testing, officers will turn out negative.
“At any point in time, you will find an officer undertaking an assignment that takes him or her off the road or out of the office.
“So should anyone test positive, it won’t be difficult at all for the officer’s health interest to be taken care of and for other police operations to run,” she said.