He Health Department closed Thursday night a clandestine nightclub located on Juan Ponce de León avenue, in San Juan, and in which they found between 50 and 80 people inside in violation of the Executive Order that seeks to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.
It’s about La Escalera and “it’s basically a basement,” he explained to First hour the director of the Investigations Office of the health agency, Jesus Hernandez.
“We intervened in a completely clandestine nightclub, without government permits to operate and an activity was taking place with people without social distancing, crowds of people, without the use of masks and the most worrying thing is that in that particular business we found controlled substances”, the official detailed.
Hernández could not go into details about what will happen to the people who were surprised at the scene since an investigation is open for which they hope to present “some complaints and there is a criminal process, which are serious crimes.”
“Yes, I can say, in general terms, that everyone who was in that business, in a certain way, is part of our investigation”, Held.
Likewise, he warned citizens that the same would happen if they found other people attending businesses that operate in violation of the Executive Order,
“We are not going to stop at doing our job at the Health Department. In essence, it is saving lives. We want to stop this virus, but we need the cooperation of citizens and that people are aware that this type of activity is prohibited and that it affects the health, not only of those diners who visit these businesses, but that these people also have a family, They have a father, they have a mother, they have a grandfather, and they leave those businesses with possible infections to their relatives. That is one of the things that we at the Department of Health are going to be very vigilant about and we are going to be extremely diligent in acting against these businesses, “said the director of the Office of Investigations. of health.
“We will find them”
In the operation on Thursday night, government officials also intervened with four other businesses – in addition to the clandestine disco – to which they attended due to citizen confidences denouncing crowding of people, not using masks, not safeguarding social distancing and not drinking. the temperature of the diners.
One of the establishments, whose name was not specified, only received an orientation because they were cleaning after the established closing time.
“There was no violation because the business was closed, what happened is that he forgot to lock the door. They were oriented and we visualized that what they were doing was repairs within the business, but even so, we guided them and understood that they met the requirements ”, explained the official.
However, when he appeared at the other establishments, Hernández indicated that the violations were implicit in “the visual inspection” they carried out while they were operating after 10:00 at night.
Among the businesses impacted are: Word of mouth, in Guaynabo, for which they are waiting for a verification of their licenses; and the Tripleta La Unión business, on Jesús T. Piñero avenue. The name of the fifth establishment was also not provided.
“Four businesses [incluyendo La Escalera] they were closed. They now begin a process where they are notified, that same night they know what their violations are and agree to them. They sign a document that warns them of what happened there and the people are aware that they were in violation. As established in the Executive Order, they have fines of up to $ 5,000 and are exposed to less serious crimes “, he detailed.
However, these are not the only businesses that the Investigations Office of the country’s health agency has in its sights.
“We have several businesses that we are observing because thanks to citizens we have information from other places that are operating outside the law. The great concern, as it happened weeks ago with businesses where we arrive at 1:00 in the morning and they are operating, are discos or dance halls, which is operating after 10:00 at night and they extend until 3 : 00, 4:00 and 5:00 in the morning. We have a group and a work plan that we are going to continue and we are going to find them. We saw it a few weeks ago with intervened places on Calle Loíza ”, he warned.
This is why Hernández was emphatic in reiterating that citizens can make complaints through email: [email protected].
“To the citizens, to continue cooperating with us. I know they send us information, a lot, but for us it is important. Any type of information gives us, in a certain way, a clue to be able to address these issues. Let the citizens continue to cooperate because it is thanks to the citizens that we have managed to reach these places. We are here to save lives and when we have to be punitive we will do it with unscrupulous businesses that do not follow the rules of the Executive Order or any other violation of the law “, he sentenced.
Finally, he clarified that this type of intervention in the establishments is carried out when there are suspicions of violations of the Executive Order or “any violation of the Department of Health that the secretary has to administer and delegates that position to us.”
However, if officials enter the business and perceive other violations – such as controlled substances in the clandestine nightclub – they will also act on it.
“If we, as the Department of Health, have jurisdiction in this regard, we are going to enforce these laws, as is the case with Law 4 on Controlled Substances. And if there was any other crime than [compete a] Our interagency partners – Treasury, State or Municipal Police, Firefighters – are going to refer you and we are going to work together because we are a team of all interagency agencies that are giving 200% to help citizens to minimize this deadly virus “, He said.