COVID BREACH? - Fears heighten as quarantine rules arereportedly being violated in Westmoreland
Steve Morris, chief public health inspector for Westmoreland, says residents have expressed fear that the COVID-19 pandemic could severely impact their communities as persons who have recently returned to the island are not obeying the recommendations to self-quarantine for 14 days before interacting with the general public.
“We get calls almost daily of persons staying in communities who have reportedly returned from overseas and are all over the community,” Morris said.
Speaking with The Gleaner on Thursday, Morris said that the public health department had appealed to persons who returned to the island recently to abide by the self-quarantine instruction by staying at home for the recommended 14 days.
“We actually have one of those calls earlier today [Thursday] and when we went to the home, the person was not there. We are trying to get a contact for the person, so we can speak with him directly to advise him to stay home,” Morris said.
Morris further noted that there were several persons now under home-quarantine and were being monitored daily.
Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton recently stated that the Government was prepared to apply tighter and more severe measures against persons who disobeyed the self-quarantine rule.
“If that observation becomes the norm rather than the exception and the risks for community spread become greater or becomes a reality, then I believe that the prime minister, who is on record as saying so, and the Cabinet, would have no difficulty increasing the restrictions. I do believe that that could be a possibility going into the future, but at the same time would be subject to an assessment,” Tufton said.