By Idowu Abdullahi,
As part of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus to Kwara State, the commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, has issued a guideline to policemen on enforcement of social gathering and other strategies that would curb further spread of the deadly disease in the state.
Egbetokun said that the measures became necessary after it was observed that the novel disease had been proven to spread faster in groups and among people who maintained close proximity to each other and improper hygiene.
The commissioner of Police in the guideline signed on Monday and made available to newsmen stated that any gathering more than 10 people, including policemen, required written permission of the Commissioner of Police beginning from today.
He noted that approval would only be given any gathering above 10 people after pre-set requirements by the police have been met, but other gatherings deemed to pose health risks to the people would not receive the law enforcement nod.
The police boss instructed officers not to detain suspects of a simple offense or misdemeanor in their custody, rather released the suspect on bail immediately to prevent further spread of coronavirus in the state.
While explaining suspects that should be detained for an unlawful act, Ebetokun stressed that anyone that could be detained presently should be suspect that has committed serious offenses that were before the coronavirus outbreak that was included non-bailable offenses under the law.
The commissioner reiterated that it was imperative to reduce numbers of suspects locked up in cells down to the barest minimum so as to avoid possible spread of the disease in the state. Also in the guideline, he directed Heads of Department, Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers (DPO) and Unit Heads, to immediately install handwashing facilities and alcohol-based sanitizers in their offices and station police officers and public use, to curb the possible spread of contagious disease into stations.
Egbetokun, in addition, said that all visitors should be admitted into the offices and stations after they had thoroughly washed their hands with soap and water, and sanitized their hands with the provided alcohol-based sanitizers at the entrance of such police facility or office, and that Area Commanders and DPOs should ensure their stations comply with earlier directives on the use of infrared thermometers in their stations for visitor screening.
Further to curb possible coronavirus spread by reducing physical contact, the Commissioner revealed that his weekly briefing meetings with the DPOs of the state would now take place online until further notice and that it was expected that all concerned DPOs and HODs would come online promptly and connect to the new platform which would be created for the weekly briefing and that the same method would be applied to the monthly officers’ conference pending the neutralization of coronavirus threat in the nation.
Egbetokun, who urged men of the command to adhere strictly to safety precautions advised by medical experts, noted that further directives and information on their activities during this period would be duly communicated by his office.