No outbreak at the detention center, procedures so far “foolproof”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While a “significant” number of immigration officers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, all have recovered, according to Director of Immigration Clarence Russel.
During the Ministries of Financial Services, Trade and Industry, and Immigration report to the nation, Russell said 70 officers had to quarantine since the outbreak of the virus, but that figured stood at 11 at last report.
He said those individuals were not exposed to the virus as a result of their jobs.
Russell said: “Now with regard to how have tested positive, as I indicated that is a medical question, but we have had a significant [number] of persons who have tested positive and thank God we have not lost any individuals. Thank God again, all of our persons thus far have recovered and recovered fully.”
Asked if there has been a COVID-19 case at the detention center since the outbreak, the director said the procedures have proven so far “absolutely foolproof”.
He detailed the process of accepting new detainees into the facility on Carmichael Road.
Russell said the COVID-19 health team visits and clears every individual taken into custody before entering the detention center.
He said a second evaluation is made upon entry and those individuals are placed in a “holding area” for 14 days.
He said following that period, a third medical assessment is performed.
According to Russell, at that time the detained individual can enter the general population.
There are 65 people at the detention center.
The center has a capacity for 350.
A breakdown of the detainees includes 15 Haitians, a Chinese national, six Cameroonians, four Nigerians, a Sierra Leone national, one Gambian, two Indians, an American, 24 Cubans, a Kazakhstan national, a Romanian, a Suriname national, a Swiss national, a Brit, a Brazilian, a Turk, and a Columbian.
Russell said the Cubans are expected to be deported next week.