A taxi operator who enabled a breach of quarantine in Grenada has been sanctioned by the Ministry of Health.
The driver, Denis ‘Lumpum’ Neptune, has been suspended from providing transportation service for people arriving in the country and entering quarantine facilities but is yet to be charged for his role in a recent breach of COVID-19 regulations.
Over the weekend, Neptune who is the father of popular radio announcer Aruna Neptune, admitted that he willingly transported Pat Bruno, a Grenadian resident in the US, to his local home in Mardi Gras, instead of taking him to a State-approved quarantine site.
Bruno then went out and mingled with others in the community. He was picked up by police at a rum shop in the village and has since been arrested and charged. He is now on $2000 bail and will appear before a Magistrate Friday for possible sentencing.
Bruno tested negative for the virus.
On Tuesday at the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing the Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele, confirmed that the taxi driver has been suspended.
“I can say the taxi driver has been suspended. The privilege, and I think it is a privilege, not a right but a privilege for him to be working at the airport, trained, given that opportunity to earn an income while keeping us safe and he took that for granted and has been suspended.
“But with respect to the individual having the ability to continue to work in that environment, no, that privilege and that right has been removed from him from a health stand point because he has put our nation at risk.
THE NEW TODAY understands that there is also a possibility that Neptune might also be charged for violating COVID-19 regulations.
“There is a discussion I am sure, with the DPP and the police as to whether he will be charged. That is not up to the Ministry of Health,” Minister Steele said.
He also indicated that the suspension of the taxi driver is not meant to be punishment but to maintain the integrity of the COVID-19 prevention system.
“It is not meant to be punitive at all, it is to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” he said.
The Minister disclosed that the duration of the suspension will be determined by the Taxi Association and not the Ministry of Health.
Neptune is an experienced taxi man who has been operating since the days of Pearl’s Airport in St Andrew in the 1970’s.