THE FINE for failing to comply with doctor’s orders, if you came into contact with a person who tested positive for covid19 is $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.
This, according to Public Health Regulations 24, put into effect on Monday.
The public health ordinance says the Chief Medical Officer may give directions for “the restraint, segregation and isolation” of people who may have been in contact with someone with covid19. The ordinance mandates medical professionals to give a reason why such orders are being given, but said it would be in the CMO’s decision what measures to take to prevent the spread of the virus, maintain the interest of public health and to ensure the contact’s well-being.
The ordinance also restricts people from gathering in numbers higher than five, and makes it an offence to go to the beach pool or other bodies of water, clubs, bars, night clubs, cinemas or theatres, gyms, daycares or have gatherings for religious purposes.
It also limits the openings of restaurants to take-away service only and says educational establishments are only to be opened for the purpose of conducting SEA, CXC, or CAPE exams.
At the Ministry of Health’s press conference held virtually on Monday, Chief Medical Officer Roshan Parasram said the regulations were made in light of a lack of adherence to advice given by medical officers treating patients with flu-like symptoms.
He said in cases where medical professionals test people and get a negative result, they are still advised to stay at home. The patients, Parasram said are not heeding that advice. They are now being made to sign a quarantine order which will have legal ramifications if broken.
“The process has changed as we move further along. Now there is something that is enforceable if people don’t comply,” he said