New conference of El PAcCTO: Support to AMERIPOL to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Latin America
The European project EL PAcCTO: support for AMERIPOL, managed by FIIAPP, has organised a thematic video conference to disseminate and promote good practices and lessons learned from the European Union in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, with the aim of reinforcing and increasing the effectiveness of measures aimed at containing and mitigating coronavirus transmission in the Latin American region.
The video conference, attended by more than 900 people and 80 institutions, was channelled through the AMERIPOL (Police Community of America) Executive Secretariat and support units, with the participation of representatives from Italy, Portugal and AMERIPOL.
Although the situation in the Latin American region, in terms of the number of deaths, does not reach the figures seen in Europe, the rate of deaths from COVID-19 has been accelerating in recent weeks. Despite the various preventive measures that the Latin American authorities are applying, such as social distancing and quarantine, the situation poses a great challenge for the police forces as far as monitoring compliance with lockdown, correct dialogue with authorities and safe performance of their daily functions.
During the video conference, recommendations were presented for action by the Spanish and Italian police in technical-scientific procedures, in the police dialogue with health authorities and in the prevention of occupational risks. Spain and Italy are countries where COVID-19 has claimed a large number of victims and where specific measures have been developed regarding the protocols of action of forensic police. Stress was therefore placed on the need to take into account the current evolution of the pandemic, the special healthcare circumstances of the region and the need to gain a deeper understanding of the epidemiological characteristics of the virus.
Some concrete examples analysed have been personal protection protocols, the creation of ‘virus-impermeable work teams’, how to correctly handle samples for shipment to laboratories, or how corpses suspected of having COVID-19 are to be identified. Finally, the attendees looked at good examples of field hospitals or mobile units being used to reduce the saturation of hospitals and the importance of the role of the “health police spokesperson” for the exchange of information between different levels and authorities.