In an interview conducted yesterday morning with the Attorney General who also serves as the Minister of National Security, Michael Peyrefitte explained that the amendment was done with the idea to have the Police equipped with the names in order to uphold the quarantine regulations. Love News understands that the request for the information had been made on at least one occasion to the Director of Health Services but such information was not forthcoming.
Reporter: There seems to be a stipulation nonetheless that should the DHS not provide you that list then he would in effect be committing a crime or an offence. Can you explain that rational ?
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Minister of National Security: “Explain the rational ? We just want to make sure that it’s not left to his discretion to provide it, he must provide it. We find as the cases increase the Ministry of Health would from time to time put more people in detention or allow more people to self isolate at home or self quarantine so when these people violate their self isolation orders or their self quarantine requirements the police needs to be sprung into action almost immediately so it’s very very critical that we have that information so we put in the law the need for the DHS to provide to the Minister of National Security all those people who have tested positive or all those people who are in self isolation, in quarantine so that we can know and have a ready list available for people that we have to look out for to make sure that they’re not violating the orders given to them by the quarantine authority.”
And while the good Dr Manzanero has concerns over patient/doctor confidentiality and the infringement of the rights of the Covid-19 patients, Minister Peyrefitte’s view is that there is nothing out of order with the request and that there is no shame in having the virus.
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Minister of National Security: “The Oversight Committee and the Cabinet both said that that’s in the best interest of dealing with the pandemic. I don’t foresee an issue at all. We are in a pandemic, I personally see no shame in somebody having COVID-19, I don’t see personally what’s the issue. There will be no breach of confidentiality that is not necessary. As it is if we find out that Daniel Ortiz is COVID-19 and we have to do contact tracing from you we have to then eventually inform other people that we’re investigating them because you’re positive. So there is no confidentiality in strictest sense now as we speak and I think on a national issue, on a pandemic issue it’s not personal like some other diseases. This is a pandemic and I would hope that if I were to be COVID-19 I would proudly say that I have it so that my friends and my family can know that I have it so that they can take care of themselves or get themselves checked. So I personally don’t see an issue with it and like I said before earlier when I answered the question about the restrictions being lifted to a certain extent the number one thing is to ensure that we prevent this disease from spreading and hopefully we get the point where no one has COVID-19. The government will take every responsible measure to ensure that that is the case so nobody’s privacy to that extent would be violated but it’s very important for the police to know if a person is violating their self isolation order and so we can arrest them and detain them and charge them so we can protect you.”