Saturday 24 October, 2020

COVID hits police force hard - more than 230 members test positive

Major General Antony Anderson

Major General Antony Anderson

More than 230 members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 10 when Jamaica recorded its first case of the deadly coronavirus.

The disclosure was made Thursday by Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson during a virtual press conference.

Like healthcare workers, members of the security forces are regarded as frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. Apart from coming into daily contact with members of the public during the course of their regular duties, police officers are also deployed at the island’s two major international airports where incoming passengers are screened for the virus.

The impact on the JCF with a staff complement of 11,000 is significant as, apart from those who have tested positive, Anderson revealed that more than 200 members are in quarantine.

“We have had 171 persons recover from COVID… and we currently have 68 active cases. But we have 239 members currently in quarantine,” said Anderson, who tested positive for the virus in August.

He did not state whether any of the 160 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Jamaica involved members of the force.

Apart from the 160 deaths, Jamaica has recorded 8,067 cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday. Of that number, 3,481 persons have recovered.

The Police Federation has complained in recent times that police personnel were facing delays in getting tested for COVID-19 and delays in getting back test results, situations that were putting them, their colleagues and families at increased risk.

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