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“With immediate effect, we have increased the presence of the security forces at the hospital on a 24-hour basis, security cameras will be installed, and the visiting policy would be strictly adhered to. Other security measures would be put in place in the short and medium term,” Health Minister Marcella Liburd said in a radio and television broadcast.
She said she was dismayed at the shooting death of Kaheel Herbert who died earlier on Tuesday after he was shot multiple times by two gunmen as he ran through the hospital’s Accident and Emergency area.
“We in the Ministry of Health and indeed the entire nation are shocked and dismayed at this wanton act of violence. The staff and patients are traumatized by this unfortunate incident. The Ministry wishes to assure the JNF Hospital staff, all health workers and the general public that we will work closely with the security forces to ensure that this heinous act does not happen again.”
She said that the “dastardly act” would not discourage the government from continuing to provide quality health care to residents and visitors alike.
“We take this opportunity to reassure the general public that the measures put in place would create a safer environment for all healthcare providers and those who access care at or visit the Joseph N France General Hospital,” Liburd said.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Ian Queeley said that several people, including staff, were traumatized and were treated for shock as a result of the incident and that the police were appealing to anyone with information about the incident to contact them.
We as a community must be willing to report what we see, we cannot afford to keep quiet. We must be safe wherever we go,” said Commissioner CG Walwyn said, adding “information (is) needed to get these two guys off the streets. They are a danger to society. Do not protect them”.
The gunmen fled the facility on foot, reportedly making their escape through the ambulance bay.
Liburd said that the government wanted to “thank the entire hospital staff for continuing to function at a high level under the circumstances.
“We also wish to thank the security forces for their continued support and the general public for their understanding and cooperation,” Liburd said.