St. Lucia Government seeking to introduce Electronic Monitoring

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By STAR Reporter -September 28, 20200112Advertisement

The government of Saint Lucia is seeking to introduce electronic monitoring devices for persons in quarantine. With the state of emergency set to end on Wednesday, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is scheduled to introduce the ‘COVID-19 (Prevention and Control)’ bill to Parliament tomorrow, September 29. The bill aims to “regulate the containment of the spread of COVID-19 in Saint Lucia in the interests of public safety, public order and public health.” One of the many aspects of the bill is “Electronic Monitoring.”

(File photo)

It states that an electronic monitoring device shall be administered by the Ministry of Health for the purpose of monitoring:

-whether a person has, during his or her quarantine, left his or her home
-whether a person who has, during quarantine at a place approved by the Chief Medical Officer, left the place of accommodationAdvertisement

The approved devices include:
-a BioSticker: worn on the upper left chest to monitor the vital signs of a person
-an electronic tracking wristwatch: worn on the wrist to monitor the location of a person

If passed in its current form, the bill will make it mandatory for a person to wear an electronic monitoring device when in quarantine at their residence, or at a place approved for quarantine by the CMO, for fourteen days or more. The Ministry of Health is tasked with, among other things, providing real-time tracking for the location of a person in quarantine and undertaking the fitting, maintenance and removal of the devices. The information obtained from the electronic monitoring device is to be stored for the duration of a person’s quarantine period and must be deleted once the period is over. During the quarantine period, the information will be accessible to technical personnel at the Ministry of Health, who can also disclose it to a police officer or medical officer.

The copying/duplicating of the devices is prohibited, as well as tampering with it. The bill states that a person who fails to comply with a decision by the CMO or breaches a condition related to the use of the device, “shall be brought before the court.”

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