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Dr Osafo Fraser

Dr Osafo Fraser, Chief Medical Officer of Health for St George East has said that his office coordinates the Freedom Hall Quarantine facility at the University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine and they are currently investigating claims that patients there are not being served meals on time among other problems.

“Freedom Hall has been operating as a quarantine facility for quite some time with a very good track record of providing very good care and this is not us saying that, but the patients saying that. So there may be something going on this morning so we will try to find out what’s happening,” he said speaking at the Ministry of Health’s virtual press conference on Saturday.

A question was raised about irregular times that meals are being served at the centre. Karl O’ Brian, who is currently in quarantine at Freedom Hall told CNC3 that the conditions under quarantine are not patient-friendly.

He entered quarantine on January 14 and spoke about his experiences and challenges for vulnerable people.

“My major concern is about the elderly folks and the young kids. A lot of them having entered the first night at midnight coming from Piarco Airport. Here we have to walk three to flight of stairs and the elevator is not working.”

He described the meals as being “piss poor” and said they are being served hours after they are supposed to be served. This can have adverse effects on patiens with diabetes, he added.

“If breakfast is supposed to be served at 8 am, it is being served at 10.45 am. I skipped lunch as a family member brought me lunch on Friday. I agree that this is not a restaurant but at least serve something that the people are comfortable with.”

He said if Ministry of Health officials care, they would send someone to look at the subpar conditions of that specific quarantine centre.