Rolle: Don’t blame police for COVID-19 spread

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle yesterday told Bahamians not to blame the police when a lack of social distancing results in more cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas.

“Once people move about and it is being spread, I don’t want anybody to try to blame the police for it,” he said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.

Rolle said members of the public must acknowledge and take seriously their personal responsibility to adhere to measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“I went out on Thursday to people, trying to get out the message of social distancing,” he said.

“And, again, I stress to the general public, everybody has to take responsibility for their own actions. I encourage people to practice social distancing. That is the way this thing has to be.

“Finding someone to blame is not the solution.”

Rolle was responding to questions over reports that there were large gatherings of people over the weekend as COVID-19 cases continue to surge on New Providence.

Last week, Rolle said 85 police officers were in quarantine. He said yesterday that the numbers have changed, but he did not provide the latest figures.

“The police officers are human beings and I am not going to let people turn them into numbers,” he said.

“None of us are immune to this COVID. I encourage everybody to take care of themselves and do the things that the health people have asked us to do to help prevent the spread of this.”

As of Saturday, there were 1,765 confirmed cases of COVID in The Bahamas, with over 1,000 on New Providence.

Last week, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced a one-week complete shutdown of the island, which took effect immediately.

However, following widespread criticism, he quickly reversed the move “until further notice”.

Essential businesses were permitted to reopen to the public and a 10 p.m. curfew was implemented.

Minnis is expected to speak at a Ministry of Health press conference today.

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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