BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 12th February 2021)-When a follow-up was sought concerning the recent quarantine breach involving a COVID-19 patient leaving a particular facility and travelled on a bus, an official of the National COVID-19 Task Force Dr. Cameron Wilkinson revealed that criminal charges are not likely to be brought against anyone.
Dr. Wilkinson, who is the Chief of Staff at the Joseph N. France General Hospital, was at the time responding to a question posed at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 weekly briefing held on Wednesday 10th February 2021.
“We have said before that the places where persons are quarantined, they are not maximum security prison facilities and so from time to time we may have security breaches,” he said whilst adding “What is good is that we have a system in place so whenever there is a breach we can adequately contain the breach. In other words, we identify where the breach was and do the necessary contact tracing.”
Dr. Wilkinson in addressing the recent incident, commented: “As it relates to the specific case that you’re speaking about, yes there was a breach the details of which I cannot go into. The person, however, did not travel on a passenger bus. They (the individual) travelled on a vehicle bus it’s not a passenger bus where other passengers would have been in the bus to get exposure and I can reassure the public that everyone who came into possible contact, they were identified and quarantined and so we did the necessary contact tracing and I don’t think that there is gonna be any criminal charges that will be brought against these persons. As I said, it was a breach and sometimes can come because of misjudgment etc. and not necessarily any direct criminal intent.”
At the previous briefing, Superintendent Cromwell Henry had informed that contact tracing along with a police investigation was being carried out in the matter that could have possibly seen criminal charges being filed.
He cited a recent lapse in protocols over the past weekend whereby over twenty (20) persons were placed in quarantine after a positive COVID-19 case was discharged from quarantine into the community via public transportation.
Superintendent Henry said “as soon as this incident came to our attention, the COVID-19 Task Force activated its response mechanism immediately. The positive case was identified and quickly placed in isolation.”