Full Court upholds decision not to release student in quarantine facility

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Khalid Gobin

The Full Court on Tuesday upheld the decision by Justice Brassington Reynolds, who last week struck out an application by Khalid Gobin, a Guyanese student, who has been quarantined at a facility along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

Gobin, a student of York University in Canada, through his lawyer, Sanjeev Datadin, had approached the Full Court seeking an order for him to be released from the facility, arguing that not only is he being wrongfully detained, he is also being held in deplorable conditions.

But the Full Court upheld the Justice Reynolds’ decision and Gobin will remain in quarantine.

Justice Reynolds had thrown out the application on the grounds of the Public Health Ordinance, signed by caretaker President David Granger after conferring with Volda Lawrence, giving her new ministerial powers in order to confront the coronavirus pandemic while noting that it establishes the required facilities.

Further, Justice Reynolds has ruled on the fact that he is satisfied that the measures invoked under the Public Health Ordinance were not arbitrary, and the facility in which the young man is being kept meets international standards.

But Datadin stated that he is not challenging the Public Health Ordinance but the condition in which his client is being held. He added that the condition is a threat to his client’s health and that of others, as should anyone test positive, everyone else will contract the deadly disease.

Gobin was among several passengers who arrived in Guyana from Barbados via a Trans Guyana flight last month and was immediately taken into quarantine although being told that he would be tested for COVID-19 at the Eugene F Correira Airport and allowed to go home to self-quarantine.

According to Gobin, he was never informed that he would be quarantined at the said location. Further, he contends that the order for quarantine only applies to those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and stated that he was not tested.

However, according to the affidavit Gobin filed, he is being kept in unsanitary and deplorable conditions and is concerned about the safety of his health as the facility does not meet international standards outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO).