Police to be deployed to covid-stricken Bellona Island

COVID-19 is spreading on Bellona Island.
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The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is preparing to deploy personnel to Bellona, it is reported.

This follows an urgent request by the Bellona covid-19 committee for police to help in enforcing national covid-19 regulations and safety measures.

Police Media’s Desmond Rave yesterday told Island Sun that the RSIPF Executive have no time for media enquiries.

“They are very busy people dealing with other matters besides media inquiries. They have many things on their table to deal with.”

However, this paper managed to contact the team leader Sergeant Mick Pongi, who confirmed the deployment of four, including himself.

“Yes I can confirm that three officers and I will be heading for Bellona tomorrow [today, Thursday, March 10] to help the frontliners there enforce covid-19 safety regulations and restrictions.

“Our deployment will be a boost to the small number of frontliners on Bellona who have been struggling to cope with the unexpected invasion of covid-19 there.

“May I make an appeal for public in Bellona to please cooperate with authorities. The covid-19 outbreak can be brought to heel if we cooperate with our frontliners and adhere to the national covid-19 safety measures and regulations.”

Speaking to Island Sun from Tingoa, Renbel police commander (PPC) Staff Sergeant Eddie Peseika, who is also the chair for the province’s Disaster Operations Committee (PDOC), confirms having arranged police personnel to be sent over to support frontline work on Bellona.

“Despite difficulties in communications with Bellona, I have managed to discern the fact that there is a need for police personnel to help frontliners enforce covid-19 regulations and safety measures.

“My request has been granted by the Rove HQ, and three personnel are being prepped to be sent over to Bellona. I am still pushing for a fourth officer.

“I have also requested a scooter to be sent along with the contingent.

“As Chair of Renbel’s PDOC, I stand ready to help and support Bellona and their sub-committee in this time of covid-19 outbreak. And I appeal for more communication from the Bellona sub-committee with me regarding update reports.”

Island Sun understand from previous reports that frontliners on Bellona has only two Community Officers helping them with enforcement.

RSIPF personnel deployment promises to boost operations.