PHILIPSBURG–The Justice Ministry confirmed on Wednesday that one Immigration officer and one Customs officer are among the country’s positive coronavirus cases.
These developments led to the closure of the Immigration Office, along with several other Immigration and Customs officers going into quarantine.Justice Minister Anna Richardson said during the live council of minister’s press briefing on Wednesday that she was notified by Immigration and Border Protection Service (IBPS) on Friday, August 7, that an Immigration officer had tested positive for coronavirus.
“The officer was already home on sick leave but due to symptoms, the officer had themselves tested and, with a positive result, immediately notified their direct supervisor at IBPS,” said Richardson.According to her, Immigration officials contacted the Health Ministry’s Collective Prevention Services (CPS) and provided them with a list of persons who may have been in contact with the officer. Based on CPS’ contact tracing, four additional Immigration officers were put into quarantine.
The Immigration Office was fumigated over the weekend and the justice ministry decided to close the office until further notice. “This is a precautionary measure that is in the interest of safeguarding both staff and the public. I would like to advise clients that there will be no consequences for their [residency – Ed.] applications,” said Richardson.
A Customs officer also recently tested positive for coronavirus.“In the weekend, I was also informed of a similar COVID situation or case within our Customs Department and the same protocol is being executed by CPS and [Customs] management,” said Richardson.
An undisclosed number of Customs personnel were placed in quarantine after contact tracing was conducted by CPS.“Customs’ regular operations will continue. However, the number of Customs officers that are available is less than usual. Our borders will remain protected,” said the Customs Department in an invited comment on Wednesday evening.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/immigration-customs-staff-in-quarantine-after-positive-cases