By Shermain Bique-Charles
“We will lock her up and deport her,” that’s the declaration from the Minister of Immigration E.P Chet Greene regarding the future a Hispanic woman who violated quarantined laws in Antigua and Barbuda.
Health officials confirmed that the woman in question came in on American Airlines flight from Miami on Friday 19th June 2020, and after undergoing screening, was given permission to self-quarantine at her home.
However, after learning she violated the self-quarantine instructions, she was picked up by the Emergency Medical Services with assistance from the police and taken to the government’s quarantine facility at Hawksbill.
But apart from her violation, reports are that the woman has been giving authorities a hard time, verbally insulting health officials.
Greene said yesterday, that the woman committed a criminal act and her deportation is imminent. “When people threaten the safety and security of a nation’s people, then action will be taken. She should be taken into custody by immigration and deported,” he said.
According to Greene, the state has no other choice but deportation. “We have no other decision. There is no other measure than deportation,” he added.
“We would not agree if any of our citizens break the rules and regulations of another country especially when it comes to something like the coronavirus. And this is why we cannot condone that behavior from a foreigner,” he insisted.
The immigration minister said the woman’s action is also costing the state money that it doesn’t have.
“We now have to do community tracing, [tracking] everybody that she made contact with, and that is costing us,” he explained.
Additionally, the minister believes that the management of the coronavirus by Antigua and Barbuda could have serious future implications.
“Potential visitors are watching how we manage. If we don’t make examples, people wouldn’t think that we are serious. The world is watching. They are looking to see how we deal with this coronavirus matter,” he said.
Police Commissioner, Atlee Rodney, said last week that the matter is being investigated with the likelihood of charges being brought against her for breaching the Quarantine Act.