Escapee from quarantine facility in St Lucia returns

A young man who escaped from a quarantine facility to the north of Castries, St Lucia, has returned.

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This was confirmed by a senior law enforcement official who told reporters that the young man returned to the hotel where he and others who arrived in the country from Martinique on Friday are being kept.

The young man returned following a statement issued by Acting Police Commissioner, Milton Desir, who visited the quarantine facility Saturday morning.

Desir then said that the police had received reports that some of the detainees were misbehaving while others were even escaping.

He explained that it was an offence to leave a place of quarantine.

According to Desir, the returnees were placed in quarantine to prevent the possible spread of the COVID-19 virus.

National Security Minister Hermangild Francis declared that it was a shame that after the authorities here and in Martinique had gone to great lengths to facilitate the return of the St Lucians from Martinique  – despite the lockdown in that country due to the spread of COVID-19 –  persons would want to put others at risk.

Francis also observed that efforts were made to ensure that the returnees would be comfortable by putting them up at a hotel.

He said the authorities were in possession of the passports of the detainees and were checking to determine the identities of the individuals that were missing from the quarantine centre.

All forms of travel between St. Lucia and Martinique have been shut down and a special ferry service arranged to transport the remaining batch of St. Lucians stranded in Martinique that was scheduled for Sunday has been cancelled by the company operating the service.

The COVID-19 virus has been spreading out of control on the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe where up to Saturday there were 35 and 51 confirmed cases respectively.