Seychelles and COVID-19: President shows support for security forces, gets update on response plans
At the Coast Guard, President Faure was given latest information regarding new security measures and his call to the Seychelles People's Defence Forces to assist the police. (Louis Toussaint)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The president of Seychelles on Tuesday met with high officials of Seychelles’ army and the police force to get a comprehensive view of preparations being made by the disciplinary forces amid COVID-19.
In his capacity as Chief Commander of the force, President Danny Faure was given latest information regarding new security measures and his call to the Seychelles People's Defence Forces to assist the police in ensuring that measures are being respected and enforced.
As of March 23, a state of public health emergency was declared in the island nation and in national address days prior Faure announced a series of enforcement measures focused on strengthening the country’s borders, restricting public gatherings and minimizing social contact in an effort to prevent community transmission of COVID-19.
In a presentation at the Maritime Operations Centre of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Captain Dave Mathieu, responsible for operations, explained that the army has been assisting different operations in the community. "We now have officers assisting the police, on all three main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue," said Mathieu.
Major Alain Pierre gave an overview of human resources and the requirement of the force during the current situation as some officers are in quarantine - after they arrived from abroad - whilst others are on overseas training. Pierre told the president about their efforts to get the assistance of ex-soldiers to assist in their operations and has given assurances that for now, the force can manage with the personnel they have.
Gerald Wong-Pool explained the aim of the Joint Operations set up for COVID-19 by the coast guard and gave different demonstrations on the Maritime Domain Awareness as well as the daily routine and maritime security interventions to secure the country’s borders both by air and sea.
At the Central Police Headquarters Faure met with key members of the COVID-19 Police Operations Centre set up specifically for the public health emergency. During the meeting, the head of state was briefed on the mode of operation of the centre, assets and equipment available and the ongoing strategy to ensure the measures announced in light of the COVID-19 are being respected by the public.
|At the police headquarters, President Faure was briefed on the mode of operation of the centre. (Louis Toussaint) Photo License: CC-BY|
“We are working closely with health and we are going to execute any requests from them,” Ted Barbe, Deputy Commissioner of the Seychelles Police, told journalists. Barbe added that the joint operations and coordination centre which is more than a command centre is not yet operational but all is set if the need arises.
Barbe explained that police is depending on members of the public to ensure that laws are abided to and that citizens keep it in mind that the country is in a state of public health emergency and that illegal activity should be reported.
On his part, Faure thanked the disciplinary forces for their invaluable service, and for the work they are doing alongside other key agencies and partners: “Today I would like to also reiterate our continuous support to you all as we continue to work together to ensure the safety of our country and its people,” said President Faure.
The president of Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – on behalf of all Seychellois saluted and conveyed " deepest appreciation to all our men and women in uniform for your hard work and dedication to the country in this time of emergency. The nation is grateful for your efforts.”