Different sectors of Hong Kong have been putting on a united front against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here in the Force, many colleagues are indeed unsung heroes as well during this battle—braving the risk of contracting the virus to take part in missions to help keep the pandemic under control.
Inside the operational base of the Emergency Unit of Kowloon West (EU KW), an Emergency Vehicle “Car 29”, dubbed the “anti-pandemic vehicle”, has been on standby. In the vehicle, personal protective equipment including protective suits, surgical masks and disinfectants are available for officers whose main mission is to conduct spot checks on persons undergoing mandatory home quarantine, to ascertain if they are staying in the designated locations.
EU Sergeant (SGT) Yuk, together with Police Constables Yau Wai and Tin Long, admitted that it takes flexible handling, resolute law enforcement but also compassion and understanding to rise to this historic fight against the pandemic. If the EU officers always put on full gear for fear of contracting the virus, irrespective of the actual risk levels, it may create a worrying image for the residents. Therefore, the officers have to adjust their gear according to different situations and undergo thorough disinfection after conducting the inspections.
Besides, to avoid visiting homes and causing disturbance too late at night, the officers have to race against the clock and strive to complete their missions before 9pm. However, ever since the events opposing the extradition law amendment bill broke out last year, Police presence in housing estates or private premises has become a delicate issue, as officers often have to spend so much time to surmount obstruction when trying to enter the venues. Meanwhile, some security guards and residents would snoop around, hoping to find out which flats have potential carriers of the virus. So, to protect the privacy of such individuals, officers would sometimes use back doors or freight lifts instead to keep a low profile when conducting the visits.
The Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) in Kwai Chung was one of the hospitals to which severe cases of COVID-19 were admitted. Sadly, two of the patients diagnosed with the disease passed away in this hospital, and the causes of their deaths had to be investigated. To do so, the Miscellaneous Enquiries Sub-unit (MESU) of the Cheung Sha Wan Police Station deployed officers to inspect and take photos of the corpses of the patients at the mortuary, then submit the completed reports to the Coroner. Throughout the process, the full support from the hospital facilitated the completion of all relevant tasks within the same day, thus reducing the number of visits the officers had to make to the hospital.
When inspecting the corpses, close contact with this novel yet highly contagious virus was inevitable. SGT Stephen of the MESU was another “anti-pandemic special agent” responsible for carrying out this mission.
To lower the chance of being infected, he kept practising the proper procedure for putting on and removing the entire set of protective gear. Once he finished inspecting the corpses, he had to wash his hands after removing each protective item, because any misstep could also lead to dire consequences.
It turned out that Stephen had volunteered to take up the mission back then. With great devotion to duty, he said he would rather shoulder the responsibility all by himself than having his colleagues exposed to the risks.
Members of OffBeat Editorial Committee:
|Mr Kenneth Kwok||CSP PPRB (Chairperson)|
|Ms Jessica Wong||PIO PP PPRB|
|Mr Louis Sin||TSRO HKI (Ag)|
|Ms Louise Wong||TSRO KE|
|Mr Tony Chow||ATSRO KW|
|Mr Benny Sham||ATSRO NTN|
|Ms Grace Mak||TSRO NTS|
|Ms Angela Lai||TSRO MAR|
|Ms Will Choi||SIP SR 1|
|Ms Phyllis Yeung||SIP A&S HKPC|
|Mr Jeff Mok||EO G&D|
|Editor:||Ivy Leung: 2860-6171|
|Reporter:||Dickson Choi: 2860-6172|
|Photographers:||Hugo Lam: 2860-6174
Lam Yu-san: 2860-6175
|Address:||10/F, Arsenal House, Police Headquarters,
No.1 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
|Deadline for Issue 1160:||May 14, 2020 (before 6pm)
|Deadline for Issue 1161:||May 28, 2020 (before 6pm)
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Published by the Police Public Relations Branch, Hong Kong Police Force