The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, has directed that samples of 10,000 officers who took part in enforcing the restrictions on movement in some parts of the country, be taken and tested for the novel coronavirus.
This is after the lifting of the lockdown on the Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi areas and surrounding districts, which have so far recorded the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
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 might have come into contact with infected persons while enforcing the lockdown.
She said the tests will help identify officers with the virus and get them to quickly seek treatment.
“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,” she said.
“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 a 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 the officers have indeed contracted 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.