A COVID-19 Enforcement Unit (CEU) has been established to help curb breaches of quarantine protocols and to carry out patrols of public spaces to ensure health guidelines are being followed, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Monday 4 August. The COVID-19 Enforcement Unit Command Centre is now operational and is located in the Cable Beach Police Station, said the Prime Minister.
To date a total of 25 police reserve officers have been trained and an additional 25 will be trained. The Government has also acquired 21 vehicles that will be properly outfitted with communications systems and deployed with police officers and individual ambassadors to patrol public spaces. In a live National Address from the Office of the Prime Minister, the P.M announced that a two-week national lockdown will take effect Tuesday 4 August at 10pm. During the lockdown, essential businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, water depots, banks and others will be allowed to operate Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“Our policy to combat this dangerous and very contagious virus includes encouraging Bahamians and residents to abide by health measures such as: wearing masks, physical distancing, encouraging Bahamians and residents to remain at home, weekend lockdowns, curfews, beach and park closures and other measures,” said Prime Minister Minnis “Like many other countries, we also have a policy of enforcement, which we are continuing to strengthen.”
In addition to enforcing health guidelines via the CEU, the Prime Minister noted that the Royal Bahamas Police Force has also assumed full responsibility for the Hubbcat Monitoring Platform, a 24-hour monitoring service for all those in home quarantine and isolation.
Hubbcat provides geo-fencing capabilities, which pre-programs virtual boundaries around the property of those in quarantine and isolation. If there is a breach the Ministry of Health’s Surveillance Unit and RBPF will visit the property. Clients requiring monitoring will have an App downloaded onto their phones and activated by an ambassador.
Information collected from individuals will remain anonymous, the Prime Minister stressed. “Just as we acted aggressively and forcefully during the initial outbreak of the pandemic, we must once again act quickly and forcefully to protect the general health and to save lives,” said Prime Minister Minnis.