People who have been placed in home quarantine, especially those who have test COVID-19 positive, will be monitored by the Police Service’s Emergency Response Patrol (ERP) vehicles and other patrols in all nine policing divisions, to ensure they abide by the stipulations of their quarantine.
The confirmation came from Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, who noted that several people who have tested positive for the virus and have been placed in home quarantine, have been breaking the Public Health Ordinance Regulations.
“There are reports of COVID-19 positive patients leaving their homes and going out, either to supermarkets, pharmacies, shops, gas stations, and restaurants,” Commissioner Griffith stated in an official advisory from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).
“Some of these patients have been entertaining family and friends at their homes, although they were advised to stay in isolation,” he added.
Commissioner Griffith reiterated it is an offence under the Quarantine Act to break quarantine and this carries a fine of $6,000 or six months in prison. He pointed out that several people have already been charged with breaching the Quarantine Act.
In an effort to curtail community spread of the coronavirus, the Commissioner said the TTPS will monitor the homes of the patients—based on the listing providing by the Ministry of Health—with ERP officers doing the monitoring in all nine Police Divisions.
“The police officers will visit the homes. The patient will come out with his/her mask, identify himself/herself, and then go back indoors. The officers will not be going into the homes,” Commissioner Griffith explained.
The TTPS said similar patrols, which are being carried out in major countries, including North America and Europe, have proven to be an effective deterrent in keeping persons in quarantine.
At present, more than 2,100 COVID-19 positive patients are in-home quarantine, not including those who are in quarantine awaiting results, having been a primary or secondary contact.