NICE Radio manager Douglas De Freitas is of the view that the behavior of this country’s coronavirus task force in dealing with applications for exemption from mandatory hotel quarantine smacks of political bias.
De Freitas expressed the view while on the In-Gear Show aired on his radio station last Monday, noting that he was aware of the importance of quarantine in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The NICE Radio boss said, however, that “when it is applied without decent equity, political bias and authoritative arrogance, it leads to disrespect and distrust of the personnel and their health system as it is only an extension of the whole system of governance.”
De Freitas spoke of the recent incident involving political activist Luzette King who was sent back on a plane she arrived with following her resistance over the mandatory quarantine on arrival from the US and who was slapped with immigration and customs charges on her return to this country just over one week after her return.
De Freitas referred to the editorial of The News newspaper published last Friday and which was critical of the mandatory quarantine and supportive, in part, of Ms. King’s efforts in helping to bring attention to the issue. He applauded the newspaper’s editor Shelley Clarke for his editorial position on the matter of the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantine.
De Freitas quoted the editorial: “’ So, whether we do not agree with everything about Luzette, we say thanks Luzette, it all helps to provide some of the answers in getting to the truth.’”
De Freitas said he returned to this country on February 6th on an American Airlines flight from Florida and followed all the immigration, health, and quarantine protocols before travel and then on arrival at his destination, SVG.
“I went to the hotel. I saw no one until Thursday the 11th. A very courteous nurse, professional, came and swabbed me just about midday and left,” De Freitas said.
He said that on Monday 15th February the same nurse called to tell him his test result was negative and that when his quarantine period ends on February 20th he could leave. He said he asked the nurse if anyone else would be showing up to check him out. He noted that since he left the airport in an approved taxi he did not hear from anyone.
“On Monday afternoon I wrote the Task Force requesting that because I have two negative PCRs … seeing that I have two negative PCR tests, could I be afforded the opportunity to quarantine at home because I live alone.
“Again, mind you, I was quarantined before from a previous trip at my home after spending five days (at a hotel) and the authorities never had a problem of me violating quarantine because I have enough discipline.
“I never got a response. So, on Tuesday, then on Wednesday, and Thursday I reminded them that I did not even get a response.
“On Friday, which was my last night in quarantine, I was so upset at these unprofessional people who have no courtesy, prompting me to challenge their integrity,” Dr. Freitas told listeners on the In-Gear show.
De Freitas said that having received no reply to his letters, he wrote to the task force again, stating his repeated requests to which he received no response, and questioning whether he was being ignored because of who he is.
“’ This is ridiculous, to say the least. When the public accused yourself of being unprofessional and biased, you have yourselves to blame. But then again I guess it matters not to you,’” De Freitas quoted his letter.
He said that he suddenly received a reply stating that his request for an exemption regarding your mandatory hotel quarantine has been received and denied.
De Freitas said he replied stating: “I expect nothing less since you never responded to my emails until I found it necessary to challenge your modus operandi.”
De Freitas said he knew of several persons who, without need for special care, were allowed to go home.
De Freitas said, “the system provides for waivers and at any point of entry and quarantine, but the discretionary waiver is being used in a politically-biased way.”