Clarifications made on Emergency orders issued for COVID-19
−PM emphasises it is critical to stay at home
DPI, Guyana, Saturday, April 4, 2020
Chairperson of the National COVID-19 Task Force, Prime Minister Hon. Moses Nagamootoo sought to clarify different aspects of the emergency order issued by the Minister of Public Health on April 3, 2020.
On Saturday, via a virtual press briefing, the Prime Minister clarified that the order is not meant to “lockdown” the productive sectors but rather is aimed at protecting the local population while containing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The order is not directed at the economy, it is not directed at production, facilities can continue to operate. Telecommunications, internet services, these are communication mechanisms that are not restricted in their operations and so they are required to observe only those safety measures for their employees.”
The order mandates that a curfew from 6:00pm to 6:00am daily from April 3 to May 3, 2020, is implemented and observed. It restricts religious and social gatherings except for weddings and funerals and prevents bars, restaurants and night clubs from operating until the period ends for the order.
“Whatever measures we take are all within the confines of health security and safety of our people to protect people from the spread of the disease, to contain it. We believe these measures could help to reduce the impact of this disease within our borders,” the Prime Minister noted.
For persons working in the essential services listed in the order, he explained the measures are meant to protect them as traverse to and from work. To prevent clustering in place such as “bus parks, stellings and other places of where social activities occur.”
Meanwhile, those employed in these sectors deemed as non-essential are required to remain at home and only leave to go to the market, pharmacy etc. They are reminded to wear a mask and practice social distancing once outside.
“Staying at home is critical in this situation… There isn’t a mandatory lockdown as it were; supermarkets, fruits and vegetable stalls these are open from 6am to 5pm so we do not want people to panic,” the Prime Minister clarified.
He noted that the measures in the order are not immutable and can be changed the situation changes. However, what is in place now seeks to bring about compliance to the many advisories issued, encouraging the general public to do their part in ensuring the virus spread is contained early.