CJIA doing internal work during downtime

DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 20, 2020

The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) is using the current downtime to attend to internal works as lockdown measures remain in place at the country’s two international airports.

Both the CJIA and Eugene F. Correia International Airports were closed to international flights at midnight on March 18 to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Guyana.

Min Patterson

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson

Minister of Public Infrastructure, the Hon. David Patterson was present on Saturday for the departure of 150 Canadian citizens as part of COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

“We are taking this opportunity to do as much work internally that we can,” he stated.

“The airport is a 24-hour operation, and it is quite difficult to get to certain places, so we are taking the opportunity.”

He added that once the restrictions were lifted, it would be back to regular operation at the country’s main port of entry.

“When the Ministry of Health [and] the National COVID-19 Task Force assesses the whole country, we will decide whether to re-open the airport or not. Right now, it is closed until May 3.

Initially, the airports were to be closed for 14 days; however, the Ministry of Public Health and the COVID-19 Ministerial Taskforce subsequently extended that period.

Saturday’s humanitarian flight by airline, WestJet, was the first time the airline had ever made a direct trip to Guyana. Another flight is scheduled for Monday when more Canadian nationals will be departing.

Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana Lilian Chatterjee said 600 Canadians Canadians stranded here had indicated their wish to return to Canada.

The Ambassador said her embassy will review the number of Canadians left and will work with the National COVID-19 taskforce to get approval for those who wish to return to Canada.

She thanked the government for helping and “understanding the need and being very  accommodating with us.”

The High Commission of Canada to Guyana is reminding that Canadians in Guyana can still contact its offices at telephone numbers 660-8712 or 608-7012 for assistance.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.