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Jamaican Who Ran Away From COVID-19 Quarantine Could Face Charges

The 27-year-old man who fled a quarantine facility earlier this week could find himself before the courts.

That’s the word from Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton who said the man had acted against the orders of health care workers and breached the Public Health Act when he left the quarantine in in the Waltham Park area in the southeastern parish of St Andrew.

“As to whether we will press charges, I allow the law to take its course,” he said.

“We have to discourage this kind of activity. Our responsibility as a Government is to protect the well-being of the society, and if persons knowingly put the rest of us in a compromising position, then the law has a response for that.”

Dr Tufton added that his Ministry is seeking the assistance of the police to beef up security at quarantine facilities.

“I had a conversation with the Police Commissioner and we are in dialogue around what needs to be done additionally to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

The man who fled the facility, Kemar Bailey, arrived in the island on March 7 and was quarantined. He left the government facility at approximately 7:40 p.m. on Monday, after being granted permission to collect a bag with personal items from someone at the gate. He was caught 2 a.m. the following day during an operation by the police and the Ministry of Health.

Bailey had not displayed symptoms of COVID-19, but Minister Tufton noted that people who arrive from any of countries of interest regarding the virus are subject to quarantine for 14 days.

“The fact that the person went out doesn’t necessarily symbolize a threat,” he stressed.

Individuals are moved from quarantine to isolation only when they display symptoms.

Currently, seven persons are in isolation, including two women who tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday and Tuesday, after arriving from the United Kingdom. The results of testing on the other five should be known later today.

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