A lawyer has asked that Medical Officer of Health Dr. Roger Duncan explain to the court why some persons who test positive for COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are sent home, even as persons who arrive with a negative test result must be quarantined in a hotel for 14 days.
Defence lawyer Kay Bacchus-Baptiste has asked that the doctor explain this, as part of a bail hearing for activist Luzette King.
King, a 57-year-old retired nurse who has Vincentian and US citizenship, is charged that on Jan. 30, at Argyle International Airport, she entered SVG by air and did not present herself in person to the nearest immigration officer.
King pleaded not guilty to the charge during a virtual appearance before the Serious Offences Court on Monday.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne set her bail at EC$2,000.
However, the issue of where King was to complete her 14-day quarantine is in contention.
iWitness News understands that King, who was held at the Biabou Police Station between Saturday and Monday, is currently staying at a hotel.
We were further reliably informed that the Crown, citing what Bacchus-Baptiste termed an incomplete certificate from Duncan, wanted King to quarantine for 14 days at a hotel.
King had applied for a waiver of hotel quarantine asking that she do so at a house where she lives alone.
Her lawyer is arguing that Duncan’s certificate seems to suggest that such a waiver is open to persons who apply.
iWitness News understands that King received no response to her alleged application for a waiver, submitted days before she travelled from the United States to SVG last Saturday.
iWitness News was further informed that Bacchus-Baptiste asked that Duncan appear before the court so he could be cross examined as to why health officials sent King to a hotel, even as she had no money to pay for the quarantine, and could do so safely at home – as she had done last September.
The lawyer also wanted the doctor to explain to the court why persons who have actually tested positive for COVID-19 are allowed to go to their home, where, in some instances, they live with other family members, while people who test negative for the virus must go to a hotel.
The court adjourned the matter to this Thursday.
iWitness News is aware of a number of cases where people in SVG who tested positive for COVID-19 were sent home.
Some of these persons live in houses where they cannot safely isolate themselves from other residents and, in some instances, other family members have subsequently tested positive.
Further, in some cases, health officials have not checked up on the person who initially tested positive, as they had promised.
Also, some patients have been unsuccessful in their repeated attempts to reach health officials for a clearance test more than two weeks after testing positive – the average time by which most people recover from COVID-19.
We travelers who will like to travel to saint Vincent thinks that its a lot of Bolognese by charging travelers 14 hundred us to quarantine in a hotel even though you negative of the virus. Lot of scam is happening in saint Vincent. Disgusting. Get you all act together. You will lose tourist in the long run.
O dear o dear o dear simplely if your face don’t fit, remember its all about name dropping and knowing someone here, unfortunately most of us do not those kinda privileges
This is goong to be a very interesting case. What is clearly shown here are the inconsistencies of the system.
Heard it’s been implemented to discourage travel..that’s useful in countries that have locked down but in Vincy’s case it’s extortion because we’re open for business.
It is just a charade. However, it appears that the law is applied haphazardly. It seems as if there maybe some malace and political spite dending on one’s political leaning. However , it’s is my opinion that Luzette was looking for attention. She knows being an Ndp activist she was bound to attract such attention. That’s is why u call it a charade.
Good observation! I agree, she wants attention, (often for the right reasons, such as now) but if you ever talk to her, you will find she is far more socialist than our PM. Now it is convenient to side with the NDP, but later…?
I was asking that same question and was about to email the Ministry of Health SVG for explanation. Thanks for advocating on the behalf of both svg residents and persons coming to St. Vincent with negative covid test and can be quarantine at their own empty house.
Is it ulp spite vs lucette? wicked, evil and vindictive animals. the worst set of slaves are those that will do what they think that their slave master will want. Shame on all of us black people. no heart.
Hotel quarantine is happening in many other countries across the world and starting in the UK next week. It is a public health measure to stop the spread of C19. People should only be travelling at the moment in exceptional circumstances for emergency or work. If you can’t pay and it is not emergency, don’t travel!!.
This is blatant and open discrimination ,also victimization against Vincentians from the so called diaspora, on the one hand blaming them for spreading the virus while at the same time exploiting them from their hard earned wages.
This would be laughable if wasn’t a serious matter. Went to New York for three weeks, tested negative for each week.,applied for a so call waiver, sent copies of my three negative test results
in the hope of being granted a waiver to quaratine at my residence with myself being the sole occupant.
These clowns did not even do the courtesy of replying yet these are the same geniuses that are sending people
tested positive and sending them home to
quarantine with little or no supervision or the required space to safely quarantine, thus infecting their families.
therein lies the exploitation, discrimination
the exploitation and victimizatio .
Agreed,, something is definitely wrong with our covid19 protocols,,I find it very unprofessional and crazy negative persons quarantine in hotels and positive people quarantine at home,,is this on purpose???what’s behind this???
I personally think if you test negative, you should be able to quarantine in your own apartment or house.
This has always been my question and the CMO nor Dr. Duncan has yet to provide an answer.
The policies are not equitable and though I honestly believe Luzette got the attention she was looking for, I’m glad that debacle has raised this issue.
THE POLICIES MAKE NO SENSE!!!!
I personally have lost respect for the covid-19 mouthpieces in SVG!
I await the outcome of this case!
If we want to put a brake on covid, isolation at home is a dangerous exercise. Vincentians are not going to abide by the protocols of staying indoors and not blending in with the general population. The British visitor is a good example. It’s a catch 22 situation, hover political spite and malice are not going to solve the problem. The law with respect to isolation should be applied across the board.
All are thinking that luzette was trying to gain attention, nut look at all the attention that was Hannah by her outburst. This has raised the attention. Of the head of government for the wrongs that is taking place when travelers come in on vacation. How the expect you coming there with 2000 dollars and have to pay 14 hundred in hotel quarantine , by the time you are being let out you have no.money to. enjoy your vacation even though tested negative. That is outright nonsense . get you all act together. Luzette might have wanted attention, but. it was caused. By ignorance and greed.
The constitution gives the right to freedom of movement to all nationals if he or she has not commit an offense . So why this coersive hotel fine imposed on a returning national negatively tested of covid -19 ?
ksron for for the simple reason that some people are asymptomatic, that’s the reason for quarantine. Some of you cannot see the tree much less the forest. The law is the law but some people think the being a member of the Ulp means that they are entitled to due process and fair treatment than others.
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