Coronavirus: Trinidad Police Commissioner Gary Griffith to self-quarantine

By Trinidad Express

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Gary Griffith

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) — The Prime Minister is exercising “caution” with respect to coronavirus after his recent travels.

And Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says he is going into self-quarantine as well.

He said Miami International Airport is so empty you can play a game of small-goal football in it.

The top cop returned from London through Miami yesterday where he attended a police commissioners conference.

He will be going into self quarantine for a two-week period but will be running the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) remotely, he told the Sunday Express.

Griffith’s self-quarantine was raised yesterday at a news conference at the Health Ministry in Port of Spain where National Security Minister Stuart Young was asked if Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley who also recently travelled to London en route to Ghana would go into self quarantine.

Young said Rowley has already started social distancing.

“The Prime Minister has actually decreased almost completely his activity. He came to Parliament, you would have observed, to make a very important statement to the population and then left straight away. So the Prime Minister is exercising his own social responsibility and caution as is necessary,” he said.

Speaking by phone Griffith said self-isolation for a 14-day incubation period was the responsible thing to do and he urged all passengers who are returning from coronavirus-affected areas should follow suit.

Griffith said people may not even show symptoms but they must self-quarantine.

He noted that the problematic cases so far are people with a recent travel history.

“I have been abroad for over ten days at a conference and I think it is the responsible thing to do. Many people when they land they would claim they do not have any symptoms but that doesn’t mean it is easy for you to go back out into the public domain where it can cause a domino effect,” he said.

Asked about his travelling experience at a time when nations are closing borders and banning flights to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Griffith said there was a big contrast between Heathrow International Airport in London – where there was a lot of activity compared to Miami.

“Miami International Airport, you could have played small-goal football, I’ve never seen the airport so empty. The only flights you were getting were domestic flights within the United States and other flights to Central, South America and the Caribbean because they have stopped all flights coming from Europe and other parts of the world. It was very empty,” he said.

Only yesterday US President Donald Trump further banned flights from the United Kingdom to the US.

Griffith said he saw many travellers, crew and workers taking precautions, sanitising spaces even plane seats which were already cleaned, and wearing masks.

He said he returned to Trinidad earlier than scheduled.

“I will be running the Police Service as per norm but I will not be doing it from the confines of the office of the Commissioner of Police,” he said.

Questioned about whether a policy has been developed to treat with police officers who may fall ill with coronavirus Griffith said international models were looked at.

“We’ve been looking at different models internationally. In the United Kingdom there are different levels they are using—the containment level and the delay level. The London Metropolitan Police have rigid systems. That will be used based on the change of the level of the problem of coronavirus,” he said.

He noted that the UK’s policy states that if the virus reaches a serious point where it affects their police force in a large way, they would only respond to violent crime and life and death situations.

“That is something of interest. Hopefully we will not reach anywhere near there,” he said.

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