St. Lucia quarantine-facility escapee said it’s safer being in quarantine

St. Lucia quarantine-facility escapee said it’s safer being in quarantine
Jahiem Octalien (left) escaping quarantine (right) last month.
Jahiem Octalien (left) escaping quarantine (right) last month.

(St. Lucia News Online) — A young man who made local and regional headlines last month after escaping from the Rodney Bay COVID-19 quarantine facility in Gros Islet said he did not regret returning to quarantine.

Jahiem Octalien was among the 85 individuals who were sent home today, Friday, April 3 after completing their 14-day quarantine at the Rodney Bay Public Health Facility, the Ministry of Health said in a release.

Octalien admitted in the release that he was “the guy who jumped the wall” to escape quarantine. At the time, he was among a group of people who had just arrived in Saint Lucia from Martinique via ferry.

He said he initially did not like the facility and his purpose in Saint Lucia was to attend a funeral.

But the young man has since admitted that it is safer to be in quarantine.

“When I first came here I didn’t really like here cause I came here for a funeral… I could not go… so it was like me the guy who jumped the wall to go home,” he said in the release.

Octalien said when he returned to the facility things were not smooth-sailing.

“When I came back here it was patchy,” he noted, adding that “it is better to be here than being out there”.

“I don’t mind staying here cause out there have more disease than here, cause we safer inside of here,” he added.

According to a CMC news report, Octalien returned to the quarantine facility following a statement issued by Acting Police Commissioner Milton Desir.

The top cop had told CMC that police responded to reports that some detainees were misbehaving and others were escaping.

A source told St. Lucia News Online that Octalien was not charged for escaping the facility.

Meanwhile, another individual who was released from quarantine today, said the prime minister is making the right decisions in the fight against the global pandemic. The virus has infected over a million people and killed over 51,000, worldwide, to date.

“Saint Lucians stay home,” Phillip Julian was quoted as saying by the Ministry of Health release. “Don’t blame anybody and be happy, because the government or the prime minister has not done anything wrong. He is just trying to save lives.”

The 85 individuals released from quarantine showed no signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and were provided with certificates of health and care packages upon their departure, the release said.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar-George said the first batch of individuals released from quarantine entered the facility on Friday, March 20, 2020.

Over the next few days, another batch of individuals in quarantine will be released and sent home,” the release said.

Saint Lucia has 13 positive COVID-19 cases as of Friday, April 3, Belmar-George said.


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