20% of Grenada’s police force have COVID
ST GEORGE’S – Concern has been mounting among security officials in Grenada following reports that approximately 20 per cent of officers in the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) are now infected with COVID-19 and as a result, some officers have been working in shifts of up to 16 hours per day.
The island started recording an upsurge in mid-August of COVID-19 due to mass gatherings, some of which were not authorised.
The latest figures revealed that local actives cases moved from 5 on August 17 to 1 791 on September 10.
As a result, the Health authorities declared that the island was affected by community spread with the Delta variant which was detected in early August as the main strain.
“There are a number of policemen, I think is over 160 odd policemen who are infected, and many of them have to self-quarantine, and it is affecting them and their families and it’s affecting the productive level of the force,” said Dr Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister for National Security.
“It’s a tough act for everybody, with the lockdown this weekend, almost every police having to be working 15 to 16 hours, otherwise, we won’t be able to achieve a significant impact with the lockdown we are implementing,” Mitchell said in a live interview late Friday.
“They are trying their best, they are giving the Government the support they can, the leadership is trying but at the same time there are serious limitations,” said the Prime Minister who explained that the purpose of the weekend lockdown is to reduce the movement of people “because when people move the virus moves”.
In a recent interview, Commissioner of Police Edvin Martin disclosed that less than 50 per cent of the Force was vaccinated, but educational sessions facilitated by members of the medical fraternity were in progress with a view to getting officers to become vaccinated.
Data from the Ministry of Health has shown an increase in vaccination since the cases began to mount, but it’s not clear if some of the newly vaccinated with the first dose are Police Officers.
The legislation establishing the Police Force allows for 1 025 sworn positions for the maintenance of law and order, the preservation of the peace, the protection of life and property, the prevention and detection of crime, the enforcement of all laws and regulations with which it is charged, and the apprehension of offenders. (CMC)