All must join the fight against COVID-19 – PM Nagamootoo

─Emergency Health Centre established

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Prime Minister, the Hon. Moses Nagamootoo today sounded a clarion call on every member of civil society to join in the efforts to combat Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This request by the Prime Minister came during a high-level press conference hosted by the ‘Ministerial Task Force in response to COVID-19 in Guyana.

“I ask you all to join me today as I urge our nation to remain calm but alert and to follow all the Public Health and other advisories,” PM Nagamootoo emphasised.

He called on the leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo to assist in this regard. “This is not partisan politics or exclusively a governmental task. All of us, all of our regions, the entire nation are in it together,” the Prime Minister said.

Following the confirmation of COVID-19 cases in Guyana, His Excellencey President David Granger immediately issued a directive for the implementation of a ‘National Task Force’. A National Health Emergency Centre was also established to combat the virus.

The Task Force headed by the Prime Minister is responsible for the coordination and overseeing the measures being implemented by various frontline agencies and providing adequate support needed by those entities.

It also includes several ministers among whom are Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence, Minister of Finance, Hon Winston Jordon, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Hon. David Patterson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. the Hon Karen Cummings, Minister of Citizenship, Hon. Winston Felix, Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry and Public Security Minister, Hon. Khemraj Ramjattan, among others.

Prime Minister Nagamootoo disclosed that the Emergency Centre has since moved from preparation to response stage in light of the recently confirmed imported case.

Under the provision of the Public Health Ordinance the President has authorised several agencies to implement the table of measures to prevent and control the spread of this dangerous infectious virus and to save Guyanese from further exposure and infection.

To date, Guyana has confirmed four cases of COVID-19; with one death being a 52-year-old woman who previously travelled from Queens New York to Guyana.

Other members of team at today’s press conference included Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence, Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry, Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Egbert Field, Civil Defence Commission Director-General, Lieutenant Colonel Kester Craig and Commissioner of Police Leslie James DSS.