A team of Immigration officers and Bahamasair crew members on a repatriation flight from Inagua to Haiti are being forced to quarantine after health officials failed to test the 21 illegal Haitian migrants onboard for COVID-19 before repatriating them to Port-au-Prince today.
Officers tell The Gallery they were told the 10 women, 7 men and four children had been tested for covid-19 before boarding the flight. However, they learned upon their return to The Bahamas that wasn’t true.
The Department of Immigration said in a statement today, “This group of migrants along with four minors were apprehended by the United States Coast Guard Cutter and transferred to the Defence Force Patrol Craft HMBS Bahamas in the area of Gaulding Cay, on Saturday 18th July 2020. They were turned over to Bahamas Immigration on Sunday for processing in Matthew Town, Inagua. They were interviewed and accessed by the local medical team in Inagua.”
On Monday, the illegal migrants were charged and convicted in the Magistrates Court on Exuma with Illegal Embarkation.
The Bahamasair flight picked them up from Inagua International Airport and flew them to Haiti today.
This has placed the health of an entire team of immigration officers as well as Bahamasair flight attendants and pilots in jeopardy. Why tell them the migrants were tested for coronavirus when they weren’t?
Hopefully, none of those migrants are infected with the disease. Haiti has 7,053 confirmed cases of coronavirus.