ENFORCE: Davis calls for mandatory electronic monitoring in quarantine

ENFORCE: Davis calls for mandatory electronic monitoring in quarantine
Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis (FILE PHOTO)

Some individuals in quarantine refusing to be monitored 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis said yesterday the government should move to include mandatory electronic monitoring in the emergency orders for people in quarantine.

He said the move would limit incidents of breaches of the quarantine and isolation guidelines.

According to health officials, some people who have been required to quarantine or isolate at home after potential exposure to the coronavirus have refused to be monitored via the government endorsed monitoring application Hubbcat.

In certain instances, there were suggestions of a legal challenge to the program’s use.

Davis said while believes the majority of people undergoing quarantine have been and continue to be responsible, the risk presented from the few who skirt the guidelines is too great.

“I think they have to make it mandatory. Don’t forget now, civil liberties are suspended,” Davis told Eyewitness News, when contacted for comment.

“If the government were to now say ‘look, it is mandatory, the electronic monitoring, there could be no challenge to that.

“So, if you find that this [refusal] is happening, just make it mandatory.

“And I think that answers any mischief.

“There could be no legal challenge because a mandatory monitoring as it relates to restrictions on the freedom of movement, it is curtailing the freedom of movement because you are monitoring the person’s movements, and if it is mandatory you will know where he or she is or could track where he or she has been.

“All those rights that you have in ordinary times have been suspended.”

All emergency orders have been extended until the end of July, but could be further extended in accordance with the proclamation of a state of emergency.

In late April, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced individuals who breached the self-quarantine requirements could be fined $20,000 and/or imprisoned for five years.

The measure was introduced amid concerns from health officials over instances of non-compliance among those quarantined, increasing the potential risk of community spread.

At the time, there were 800 people in quarantine.

As of Monday, there were over 350 people being monitored by Hubbcat.

However, of the 203 people in quarantine in Grand Bahama, only 23 were being monitored by the application which has geofencing capabilities.