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18 detainees at Freeport lockup test positive for COVID-19

Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, Communication Officer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force
 
Eighteen detainees at the Freeport Police lockup in Montego Bay, St. James are in isolation at the facility after testing positive for COVID-19.
 
Other detainees are awaiting their test results.
 
No police officer from the station has tested positive for the virus.
 
Senior Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay, Communication Officer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, told Radio Jamaica News Wednesday morning that a few detainees started showing symptoms two days ago and the Ministry of Health was contacted.
 
SSP Lindsay said the authorities are trying to identify the source of the infection, considering that facility is a sterile lockup, which does not take new detainees.  
 
She said the COVID-19 protocols at Freeport lockup have been revised. 
 
"So one of things that they have done is that they have totally suspended any visits, so they will not be taking any item of clothing, any food supplies, any sanitation things for the prisoners because, based on the discussion with the medical persons, that could also be a point of contamination," she revealed. 
 
SSP Lindsay has sought to assure relatives of the detainees that they will be properly cared for during the suspension of visits.
 
Prior to the suspension of visits, relatives had been allowed to take hygiene products, including sanitisers, as well as food to the lockup.
 
SSP Lindsay said the courts have been notified and matters will be done virtually.
 
On Tuesday, Lambert Johnson, President of the Cornwall Bar Association, expressed concern about the impact the outbreak at the Freeport lockup would have on the work of attorneys and court proceedings.
 
 
Effective protocols 
 
SSP Lindsay said COVID-19 protocols at lockups across the country have been effective for the most part. 
 
"It has been working. We have not had any major problems at any of our facilities, and this one I think they got on to it very quickly. So they are now working to ensure that there is no spread at no (sic) other lockup. So these persons will not interact with any other inmate," she sought to assure. 
 
However, she said the police will review its protocol based on the latest development. 
 


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