A total of 500 people being monitored from COVID command center
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Over 500 people were being monitored in quarantine as of yesterday by the geofencing program Hubbcat, according to Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle, who said one officer being monitored faced disciplinary action after breaching the self-isolation requirements.
Rolle spoke to the media from the COVID Command Centre at the Cable Beach Police Station where eight reservist officers, known as COVID ambassadors, monitor the various zones of New Providence via Hubbcat.
He said generally there have been no issues with individuals breaching quarantine.
“I had a report of one officer who had breached quarantine and I took disciplinary action,” Rolle said.
“Officers have been compliant as [far] as I’m aware and they are doing their best like I said.”
A total of 85 police officers remain in quarantine after potential exposure to COVID-19.
The commissioner said the temporary loss of the officers has not “significantly affected” operations, noting there were over 3,000 officers and over 1,200 reservists.
He said: “We are still able to effectively police because on any given day we have at least 500 officers off. We have means of dealing with our issues.”
A fleet of vehicles marked ‘COVID-19 ambassador’ have also been acquired for the command center.
According to Chief Superintendent Zhivargo Dames, COVID ambassadors will be stationed at the airports during operating hours to document passengers arriving in The Bahamas.
Dames said visitors will be contacted to create a geofence around their location of stay and monitored.
New Providence has been divided into eight zones for monitoring.
“If you believe that you can breach those quarantine… and we are not alerted in the command center… let me assure you that if you breach that virtual geofence one of our monitors will be alerted and we will dispatch, if need be, one of our command enforcement units to you to see why exactly you would have breached that geofence,” Dames said.
Officers demonstrated the program by creating a geofence around a property in New Providence, creating a red outline around the perimeter of the property, which could be viewed via satellite imagery.
Asked about individuals circumventing the program by leaving their cellphones at home, officials said a person in quarantine must keep their devices on or near them at all times, it must remain on, and the data active for the location to transmit.
He said: “If you are not to have your cellphone in your possession; if you are not to have your cellphone on, you will be found to be in violation of the orders.”
The commissioner said if someone in quarantine is found to have circumvented the measures and for example leaves their phone at home, there will be “penalties”.
COVID ambassadors will also be responsible for ensuring compliance with the emergency measures, including social distancing and wearing of masks, among others such as preventing individuals from engaging in prohibited activities.
As of Wednesday, there were over 1,500 confirmed COVID cases, including 61 hospitalized cases.