Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 10, 2020 (RSCNPF): The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force were among several agencies listed as members of the National COVID-19 Working Group during an address on Sunday, March 08, 2020 by Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.
The organisation is represented on this Working Group by Superintendents Cromwell Henry and Travis Rogers.
Superintendent Henry explained that the Police are there to provide security at locations that are designated as quarantine facilities and to generally provide support to the health authorities while they discharge their responsibilities.
“The Quarantine Act and its recent regulations give the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and the public health authorities certain powers to quarantine persons who are infected or suspected to be infected with any disease that is a threat to public health. It also creates offences for persons who refuse to subject themselves to the instructions and directions of persons from the health authority,” outlined the Superintendent. “So, the Police’s role would be to enforce any directions that are given by the CMO.”
The Public Health (Quarantine) Regulations makes reference to the powers and duties of the Police and the Defence Force.
During his address, Prime Minister Harris stated that the Working Group is chaired by the National Disaster Coordinator at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Abdias Samuel.
“It also consists of key representatives of the relevant ministries and departments including the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Immigration Officer, Comptroller of Customs, along with representatives from the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, and The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force,” he said.
The Prime Minister commended the group for their “excellent work to date.”
“The Working Group was instrumental in strengthening surveillance at all ports of entry in the Federation and in conducting a successful simulation exercise to test the alert and communication systems of our national response mechanism. The simulation exercise was successfully executed,” Dr. Harris said.
He added that the group had already conducted sensitisation sessions with a number of government and private sector entities.
“They are committed to supporting the government’s preparedness and response activities. The committee remains open to provide similar technical support to other entities.”
He stressed that the Ministry of Health is the local reliable official source of such information and could be contacted by dialling 467-1172 or 467-1108. To date, there have been no confirmed cases in St. Kits and Nevis.