Sunday 29 November, 2020

Acting Chief Medical Officer issues warning to quarantine breachers

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George (FILE)

Some persons are not adhering to the COVID-19 quarantine guidelines.

And the Ministry of Health and Wellness is issuing a strict warning.

This was revealed by a notice posted to the Government Information Service (GIS) website today, October 20.

The statement by the Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George, said that it had been brought to the attention of the Ministry of Health and Wellness that a number of persons who have been ordered into COVID-19 quarantine have been breaching that order.

At least four recent reports were received of persons leaving an approved quarantine facility without the permission of the Chief Medical Officer.

The breachers were said to be both locals and visitors alike.

The Acting CMO warned everyone placed in quarantine in Barbados that this practice will not be tolerated and abusers, when identified, will be brought before the courts and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The statement went on to stress that quarantine was a means of separating persons from the general population who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but who are not showing signs of the virus.

According to the latest updated travel protocols, which came into effect on October 16, all persons arriving in Barbados from countries categorised as high-risk must go into mandatory quarantine for a period of four to five days from the receipt of their first valid negative COVID-19 PCR test. They are retested at the end of the period and if negative results are returned then they are discharged from quarantine.

The practice of quarantine was a well-accepted public health measure to control and limit the spread of disease. Persons in quarantine are prohibited from leaving the quarantine facility, accepting visitors, or mixing with the public.

Persons in breach in any of the above stipulations will, on summary conviction, be subject to a fine of BDS $50,000, imprisonment for one year, or both.

Barbados has been very successful so far in keeping COVID-19 out of its general population, due in no small measure to the cooperation and responsible behaviour of residents.

The Acting CMO appealed to both residents of and visitors to Barbados to continue to adhere to the public health protocols in place. These guidelines are to ensure the well-being of everyone.

Persons are encouraged to report any breaches of these protocols that come to their attention.

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