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Police launch center to better monitor those in quarantine

Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle yesterday introduced the new Hubbcat Center located at the Cable Beach Police Station that will aid in monitoring people who have been placed in quarantine by the Ministry of Health.

“The police have been tasked to monitor all persons now that are in quarantine. The persons that have tested positive are not being monitored by us. They are being monitored by the Department of Health,” Rolle said.

“Currently, we are monitoring just around 500 persons. So far, all the persons that we are monitoring are compliant.”

The Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) has acquired eight additional cars that will be specifically used to bring awareness to the COVID-19 pandemic and to encourage people to practice all health protocols within the communities.

“We have our fleet of COVID-19 ambassadors,” Rolle said. “We refer to them as ambassadors because we want to get the message out to persons of the necessity to wear masks and practice social distancing.”

Chief Superintendent of Police Zhivago Dames said the COVID-19 Command Centre is responsible for ensuring that people who enter the country through the airport are logged into the new system.

“The COVID-19 Command Centre has the responsibility of on-boarding all those persons who are coming into our country on the Hubbcat platform. Once you enter our airport, you will be greeted by one of our ambassadors at the airport. They will take all of your information and input that information into our Hubbcat system.

“We will give you a period of time to get to your residence. Once you get to your residence, we will make a call to you to make sure you are there.”

Dames said the system will ensure that people remain in quarantine through a “geo-fence”.

“We will put a geo-fence around your residence,” he explained. “That geo-fence enables us to ensure you do not leave your residence. If you are to breach that geo-fence, then you will be hearing from one of our ambassadors or one of our dispatchers at the COVID-19 Command Centre.” 

He said the command center will patrol hotspot areas to ensure that health protocols are being followed.

“We also have a responsibility to ensure that [in] all of the public places that persons are adhering to the COVID-19 protocols,” Dames said.

“We also have the responsibility of patrolling those hotspots like the beaches and like those social areas, again to make sure persons are adhering to the social distancing and the wearing of masks.”

In his July 19 national address, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said Hubbcat monitors, dispatchers and COVID-19 ambassadors will be coordinated through the center.

Across The Bahamas, the unit will have 177 COVID-19 ambassadors, 23 Hubbcat monitors and 21 vehicles dedicated to enforcement, he said.

In addition to monitoring individuals in quarantine, the prime minister also said the unit will be responsible for ensuring that the general public and businesses are adhering to the COVID-19 orders.

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Italia Clarke

Italia Clarke joined the Nassau Guardian in August 2020. Clarke covers national, human interest and social issues. Education: University of The Bahamas, BA in Media Journalism

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