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Sep 24, 2020

Chester Takes on Confidentiality and Stigma Regarding COVID-19

The argument of confidentiality and privacy, says ComPol Williams, is valid to a certain extent, but the constitution does have limitations where public health, public interest and national security are concerned.  As far as stigma, the Commissioner of Police also stated that more people have come forward with their COVID-19 status than persons infected with HIV/AIDS.


On the Phone: Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I listened attentively to Ms. Audrey Matura and to some extent I do agree with her that under Section Fourteen of the constitution that deals with the right to privacy.  It says that you are entitled to your right to privacy but again, as she rightly alluded to, it also says that it is subject to limitations.  So you will see that the constitution guarantees us certain rights but with those rights, the constitution also says that the rights that we guarantee you is subject to certain limitations and some of the limitations outlined there is public health, public interest and national security.  So if it is that you have a virus which is not one that carries much stigma, it is not like you’re saying that somebody is infected with HIV/AIDS which carries a heavy stigma.  This is a coronavirus which for the most part people catch it due to no fault of theirs.  So I don’t think that there is much stigma attached to coronavirus.  When it comes to the fact that the greater good of society in terms of protecting other persons from being infected by those persons who are infected, it is covered by the constitution to be able to ensure that the government puts things in place to protect the wider citizenry.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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