LOCAL students who recently arrived from Philippines are calling on the general public to stop spreading rumours on social media or within the communities about them.
One of the students spoken to in a phone interview said what has been stated on social media and the general public is just a rumour and is not true.
“The rumour that our colleague who has tested positive went outside and chewed betel nut and that some of us wanted to escape the quarantine centres are not true; even rumours that some of us have verbally uttered abusive words to our front liners,” he said.
The student who declined to be named said since their arrival they have complied with the rules and regulations put in place by the government and will wait patiently for their time of release.
“We are very sorry to see rumours that some of us want to escape. Our colleague who was at the isolation site was alleged to have gone out to chew betel nut and so on.
“Since in the Philippines, we have all along complied to the rules set by our government till now; and to just see people post about what is not true about us is a sad thing for us.
“The government has done great for us by bringing us here and why should we do such things?” he added.
He said they have been through life experiences of quarantine for almost 9 months in a country that is rated as high in terms of the COVID-19 especially practising social distancing and staying at home.
“Sadly, our colleague patient should not have gotten the virus, as we do we believe he got it at the Manila International Airport,” he said.
He said they lived in a country with amongst 200 plus thousands patient with COVID-19 but they managed to stay healthy until the day they left.
“Our only plea is for our good people not to spread rumours because we’ve tried our best and we also have a heart for our country.
“We cannot live a careless life like people might say or think that will bring threats or fear to our people and please do not spread any false information or rumour about us because we are living under rules and regulations as we did since in the Philippines,” he added.
He said since they left, they still think of their colleagues who are still in Philippines and when such rumours are coming out, their hearts are getting heavier.
“For them, whatever happens to delay their return, they will blame us for not complying with the rules which are not true,” he said.
Meanwhile, Attorney General (AG) John Muria Junior said they have received reports of verbal abuse and rude behaviour on staff working at quarantine centers.
Muria said following that report, it has now become a subject of investigation by the Oversight Committee.
“I want to tell them that it is an offense to abuse any authorised officers.”
Muria Junior issued a strong warning that those found will be dealt with.
“You will be identified and dealt with accordingly as such behaviour is of a serious matter and it must not be taken lightly,” he said.
Meanwhile, Special Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Jimmie Rodgers said the abuse involved shouting and swearing.
“The swearing is not only levelled at the authorised officers, it is also levelled against our politicians,” he said.
AG Muria Junior warned that anyone found guilty of breaching quarantine protocols is liable to pay a fine of SB$10,000.00 or five years imprisonment or both.