Griffith warns against ‘COVID-19 parties’
The stay at home order in effect until April 30 is not a licence to host “COVID-19 parties”.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said planning such gatherings during this time is ill-advised as it defeats the purpose of the measure from Government, which is meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Speaking at the daily virtual media conference hosted by the Health Ministry on Thursday, Griffith took note of such social events taking place at residences.
“We noticed there has been an increase in what we have termed COVID private parties, where persons will try to have functions in homes, inviting friends and neighbours and family to come to their home. This can be a ticking time bomb.”
Griffith, who made reference to a similar party in New York where several attendees contracted COVID-19 and subsequently died, said people should not take it for granted that they are protected from the virus because they are inviting close friends and neighbours.
The top cop hinted that police may have information of such parties scheduled for the Easter weekend.
“We intend to take a very stringent approach to deal and with and eliminate these types of events.”
He said the police have not yet received any official reports of these parties, but urged citizens to contact the police via the 555 hotline, 482-GARY or the TTPS app to report such activity.
The Police Commissioner indicated that there will be road block exercises and police will be monitoring for any unusual activities in residential areas.
He said citizens should not be out after 6 pm, and after 8 pm would be “a different story”.
Further, Griffith said the alert state has been raised to orange. The alert state is raised or lowered to reflect level of threat presented and informs the intensity of law enforcement required.
The top cop said citizens can expect increased police patrols and higher police visibility as law enforcement steps up its efforts to ensure the public adheres to regulations as set out in the public health ordinance.
The Police Commissioner noted that 8,648 police officers, including Special Reserve Police officers will be used for these patrols.
The TTPS is also offering support to the Health Ministry to enforce quarantine orders issued by the Chief Medical Officer.
Griffith made an appeal to the public to cooperate with officers and apply the “law of common sense” but assured that the laws and policies coming from Government will be enforced.