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COVID-19: GNR officer diagnosis shuts down Faro station, half of the force quarantined

4gnr stationA police officer stationed at GNR post in Faro has been diagnosed with COVID-19, leading to around 50% of his colleagues in the force being put into quarantine.

The case was confirmed yesterday, prompting the temporary closure of the Faro station for disinfection. A GNR District Command source told regional news agency Sul Informação that the site had been “fully disinfected” and that it was reopened just last night.  The source added that after the positive case was confirmed, “a clinical investigation was carried out to screen people who had been in contact with the police officer”.

“Since March 13th, the GNR’s shifts have been 12 hours, all comrades who had contact with him have been quarantined,” he added. This corresponds to about half of the staff working at the post.

For António Barreira, the Faro Unit Commander “we are doing the possible and the impossible to protect the military and the population. We have taken a very great leadership attitude, according to the information we received. We have been able to proceed immediately to disinfect the post and reopen it with the officers on the other shift, maintaining operational activity”.

Barreira considers that it is “essential” that the Government ensures “speed in the tests of safety and health professionals and speed in the result. The faster the diagnosis, the faster the professionals will return to the front line to fight this invisible enemy”. He also highlights the importance of giving the security forces and health professionals “the maximum conditions for individual protection”.

“In the GNR, we are no different from other professionals who, even before this crisis, faced a lack of personal protective equipment. We have to ration and the truth is that there is not enough equipment for everyone “, he stresses.

In addition to making protective equipment more available, Barreira believes “it is essential to ensure its replacement. If each station receives ten kits for the personnel, there must be constant replacement. Ten kits are for ten interventions. When they are finished, they need to be replaced”.

The Commander also recalls that those partaking in criminal investigation at crime scenes need protective equipment, “both in the collection of traces of a crime and in the treatment of them”, as well as “the elements of intervention detachments, also required for maintenance of public order, and the remaining military personnel of the various specialties of GNR, namely Transit, SEPNA, or GIPS”.