Washing of hands thoroughly and frequently with water and soap has been highlighted during COVID-19 awareness talks held by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) to prevent any outbreak of the virus to officers of Taro in Choiseul Province and at Mbalalae in the Shortland Islands on 25 March 2020.
A team consisting of RSIPF officers and a health worker conducted an awareness talk to officers at Taro, Police Response Team (PRT) and officers at Kulitanai. The awareness program aims to equip police officers who are securing the common border between Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Inspector Ileen Ukebule from the RSIPF Human Resources Department says, “The easiest and best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is by keeping your own hands clean and cleaning surfaces that you come into contact with such as door handles. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub. This will kill any viruses that may be on your hands.”
Inspector Ukebule adds: “Maintaining social distancing is also very important. Maintain at least 1 – 2 metres distance between yourself and others especially if someone is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain a virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
She told the officers who attended the awareness meetings today: “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is not required when patrolling a public place. The best way to protect yourself from illness is to practise regular hand washing. If you cannot wash your hands use a hand sanitiser. Do not touch your face. Regular hand hygiene prevents more illness than masks. Do not shake hands – if you do not need to touch someone then do not touch them. If you have to arrest a person, treat them as though they are infectious.”
Provincial Police Commander (PPC) Choiseul Province Superintendent Vincent Eria, Officer In-Charge (OIC) Kulitanai Sergeant Henry Iupa and Staff Sergeant Moses, Team Leader PRT in Shortland Islands have acknowledged the awareness program.