Health Authorities in Dominica Concerned Over Returning Nationals Flouting COVID Protocols

ROSEAU, Dominica – Dominica health authorities have expressed disappointment at returning nationals who flaunt the regulations that have been put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coordinator of the Borders Reopening Programme, Dr. Laura Esprit has hinted at the possibility of changes being made to the protocols governing the return of nationals since the borders were reopened earlier this month.

“As a matter of fact many of you have showed a callous attitude to what we have struggled to maintain, zero cases of COVID on the island.

“Many returnees were seen on the block, liming in the bars with no mask and no worry…a day or two after arrival. Let me remind you that for those of whom remained home it meant making a lot of sacrifices over the last three to four months of being locked up, abandoning the farms, places of worship, losing income, having fear of taking public transport, being denied access to the rivers,” she added.

Dominica has recorded 18 cases of the virus that was first detected last December in China and linked to 649,000 deaths and the infection of 16.3 million others worldwide.

Dr. Esprit said should failure of compliance continue “in the interest of putting the country first we will have no doubt but to adopt more stringent measures of having all passengers subjected to compulsory quarantine at a government operated facility for an uninterrupted period of no less than 14 days at the travellers expense.

“This would equate to payment by each individual upon arrival to the facility of approximately EC$4,171. 50 cents (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) for the period. The reality of that situation is bitter sweet in that we want you home, fearful of the possibility of getting a second potential wave within restrictions of more protective measures to us all,” she added.

She warned that it would take only one person to “have our tireless collective efforts gone with the wind.

Dr. Esprit said that she is certain many Dominicans are aware of the story where “peter paid for the short comings of Paul “ adding “if all are not supportive of their role in the established protocol then noncompliance puts our entire country at risk.

“The danger of violation would therefore call for stricter measures which may result in reprimanding the said culprits,” she added.

CMC

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