SINGAPORE: More than 180 police officers have been deployed at quarantine facilities islandwide amid the coronavirus outbreak, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Monday (Feb 10).
Speaking to reporters at the Civil Service Club @ Changi II, which is one of the Government’s quarantine facilities, Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC) of Police Julius Lim said that the officers help ensure security at the facilities.
The officers also work with the national development and health ministries to support the “welfare needs” of those under quarantine, said DAC Lim, who is also commander of Bedok Police Division.
The officers wear appropriate protective gear when performing their duties, he added.
“We are very appreciative, very proud of the efforts and the hard work that's been put in by our police officers, as well as the safety and security managers,” said DAC Lim.
“Their dedication to duty, the sense of compassion, has been really exemplary,” he added. “SPF stands ready to continue to play our part to help bring this outbreak under control, regardless of how prolonged the situation may be.”
Speaking to reporters during a visit to the quarantine centre, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said that aside from ensuring that law and order are maintained, the officers also check that quarantine is observed.
He also said that more facilities will be set up in the future.
"All the facilities are supported by the police. The police are carrying on with their normal activities, but in addition, we have had to pull out a number of officers and have them supported by security officers as well, to make sure the quarantine facilities have the security aspect," he said.
"More facilities will be set up. (The) police will have to support all of them."
The police, as well as other Home Team agencies, have put in "a lot of effort" and taken on additional responsibilities, said Mr Shanmugam.
"Look at ICA (Immigration & Checkpoints Authority) managing the border operations and, at the same time, temperature control and other issues. It’s been a lot of strain on them. Likewise, the police. Day-to-day operations carry on, and now they support (operations) here."
Three new cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed on Sunday, all with no recent travel history to China, said the health ministry.
This takes the total number of cases in Singapore to 43, including six in critical condition.
Four more were discharged from hospital on Sunday, said the ministry, meaning that six people in total have recovered from the infection.