Cops recover gloves and masks believed stolen from KPH
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has confirmed that 25 cases of gloves and masks, which are believed to have been stolen from the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), were recovered by operatives of the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime (C-TOC) arm of the force on Friday afternoon.
The protective gears were reportedly seized during an operation along North Street in downtown Kingston between the hours of 2pm and 5pm on Friday.
Up to late Friday afternoon, no one was arrested in connection with the seizure.
The seizure came shortly after Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, warned that punitive action would be taken against anyone caught stealing protective equipment from hospitals.
"It is immoral and illegal and we’ll use the law to penalise those persons,” the health minister warned.
Speaking at a business stakeholders' meeting at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James, Tufton said he was aware that masks were being stolen from public hospitals and put on sale in light of the reports of COVID-19 locally.
“I have seen in the marketplaces in recent days, persons who are selling masks, and some of those masks look very much like the masks that the hospitals have in storage to be used in the public sector,” said the health minister.
“I have had reports that there is a lot of misplacement of our own supplies. It speaks to our own internal arrangements, and I’ve met and spoken with the management and administrators of our public health infrastructure to tighten up that management so that we can avoid the stealing of our supplies that taxpayers pay for to be used for taxpayers’ interest,” added Tufton.