218 police officers infected with COVID-19 since outbreak

218 police officers infected with COVID-19 since outbreak

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A total of 218 police officers have tested positive for COVID-19 since its outbreak in mid-March.

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle said yesterday that up to 20 officers remain in quarantine as a result of potential exposures.

“You know the number changes, but when I did the assessment on Monday, we had about 30 officers in quarantine,” Rolle said following a social initiative in the Englerston community.

“The number of infections to date at that point, [was] 218 — that’s total — but presently that we have out, I think was 20 [officers].”

The total infections to date, represent less than five percent of the police force’s complement of over 4,000 officers.

In late August, health officials provided a breakdown of infected people during the second wave of the virus.

The breakdown, which spanned between July 1 and August 23, showed that there were 93 infections among the police force.

COVID-19 cases continue to surge in New Providence, while steadily rising on other islands of The Bahamas such as Grand Bahama, Abaco, the Berry Islands, and Eleuthera.

There were 133 new confirmed cases on Thursday, 109 in New Providence, 19 in Grand Bahama, two in Abaco, two in the Berry Islands, and one in Eleuthera.

Total cases increased to 6,268, of which 2,303 remain active.

In an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in New Providence and Abaco, the competent authority reintroduced restrictive measures on October 9.

These included a nightly curfew from 7 pm to 5 am, 24-hour curfews during weekends, the discontinuation of indoor and outdoor dining, and a return of curbside, takeaway, and delivery services across a wide range of businesses, which had previously enjoyed patrons shopping in premises with adherence to health guidelines.

The government will table a resolution in the House of Assembly on Monday to extend the public state of emergency to November 30.

The existing orders will come to an end on October 31.

Rolle was asked whether the return of these restrictions have placed added strain on the police force, which continues to monitor cases and quarantined individuals, enforce the emergency orders and health guidelines, and fight crime throughout the nation.

“This is what we do; that is policing,” Rolle responded.

“Whatever the mandate requires of us, we are prepared to do.

“Of course, we are in a state of emergency and so, where the normal operation that we would have done under the normal circumstances, simply change because we cannot do much of what we use to do, so those resources now are shifted to manage to the emergency orders and the lockdown.”

Rolle also advised that the police force was prepared for the traditional uptick in crime during the upcoming holiday season.