T&T state to pay 2 women for illegal COVID-19 quarantine
THE State now has to fork out more than $.2 million to pay two women who were under State-supervised quarantine in 2020, having been suspected of contracting Covid-19 but turned out to be negative.
After close to two weeks in quarantine and being made to be among those who actually tested positive for the virus, the women eventually tested negative and were released from Caura Hospital.
Last week, Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams signed off on two consent orders in which the Office of the Attorney General agreed to pay Sasha Supersad and Vidya Lalla the sums of $100,000 and $115,000, respectively.
The two claimed they were unlawfully detained under Regulation 38(1)(b) of the Quarantine (Maritime) Regulations and Regulation 15 of the Quarantine (Air) Regulations.
Both had been given “Quarantine Directions” to sign, but under the Regulations, only people who had entered this country from abroad and suffering from an infectious disease can lawfully be placed under State quarantine.
Neither Supersad nor Lalla had any recent travel history when they were detained by medical staff and placed under State-supervised quarantine.
Lalla has since died from an unrelated illness and therefore, the sum agreed upon by the State to be paid to her will instead be handed over to her husband.
The claims were filed by former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, SC, and attorneys Jayanti Lutchmedial, Robert Mitchell and Ganesh Saroop.
T&T state to pay 2 women for illegal COVID-19 quarantine: Rats and cockroaches
It was back in late March 2020, the same month Covid-19 reached the shores of Trinidad and Tobago, that the women were detained.
According to Lalla’s affidavit, on March 28, she began experiencing flu-like symptoms and sought medical attention by way of the Emergency Health Services (EHS).
She was taken to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) by ambulance and placed in a “make-shift outdoor tent facility with limited food and water”.
There were also no beds or bedsheets and patients were forced to sleep on stretchers, she said.
“Around midnight, I asked to use the toilet since I continued to experience symptoms of diarrhoea. To my shock, horror and dismay I was sent to an area with disposable toilets similar to those found on construction sites.
“When I opened the door to the disposable toilet rats and cockroaches ran out onto my feet. I was scared and disgusted,” she said.
While at the tent, Lalla, 41, said she was informed she had to be tested for Covid and would receive the results within 24 hours.
However, the information was not forthcoming and on April 1, she was transferred to the Caura Hospital.
The conditions there were no better, she said.
State to pay 2 women for illegal quarantine Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers