KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 23, 2020 (CMC) – A Magistrate’s Court, today, granted an application for an individual in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be placed in mandatory quarantine, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kingstown Magistrate’s Court made the decision, during an in-camera hearing, after police officers had ordered that the Court be cleared, in the absence of an order, by Senior Magistrate, Rickie Burnett, or any application by the prosecutor, Corlene Samuel.
The Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) was reliably informed that attorneys, Duane Daniel and Karen Duncan, appeared on behalf of the applicant, Health Officer, Dr. Roger Duncan. The two lawyers and the physician remained in court, after the order that the courtroom be cleared.
Earlier this month, the Serious Offences Court granted an order, pursuant to the Public Health Act, 1977, for the isolation of persons, exposed to infections, that 15 persons, all of whom had what appeared to be Chinese names, be quarantined for 14 days, in relation to the coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health has since said that all of those persons have completed their quarantine and none of them had COVID-19
Last week, the Ministry of Health placed under 15-day mandatory quarantine, at least 39 Girls’ High School students and five chaperones, following their return from the French island of Guadeloupe, where cases of the virus have been reported.
The Ministry also advised students and their chaperones’ households to voluntarily observe 14 days’ quarantine.
Speaking, generally, about quarantine, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Simone Keizer Beache, said that health officials would visit persons, who have been placed in mandatory quarantine.
“When we determine that the person is probably less than compliant, we will do the court orders and we would ask for the assistance of the police,” she said.
Dr. Keizer-Beache further said that the government is asking persons, arriving from the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, to voluntarily undergo 14 days’ quarantine.
“So we will be doing random checks and we will be also doing phone checks on those persons. And then we are also, you know, our brother’s keeper, our brother’s look out.
“We are asking this, because we are looking at a completely different number, because when we were dealing with just China, Iran and those other countries, the numbers we were dealing with was much lower than what we are going to have to deal with now, in terms of the US, UK and EU. If necessary, we will get court orders, however,” Dr. Keizer-Beache added.