Govt will take every step to safeguard Guyanese lives – President Ali

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says his administration’s only interest is to safeguard the lives of all Guyanese, and his Government will do everything in its power to do so. 

Dr. Ali made this statement Thursday evening in response to calls by Opposition Leader, Hon. Joseph Harmon, for the people to refuse the Russian made Sputnik V vaccine.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali

The President said Mr. Harmon’s statement is “one that only seeks to derive political gain gains… Whilst I’m sure that if one is to examine the statement by Mr. Harmon in relation to the Sputnik V vaccine dissuading Guyanese from taking the Sputnik V vaccine, you will find it to be self-serving, shamefully reckless, selfish and against the interests of Guyana and Guyanese.

This is a man who shamefully tried to steal an election some months ago. This is a man who himself took the Sputnik vaccine.”

President Ali reiterated that the Government will spare no effort to protect its citizens.

“There is no cost to protecting the lives of Guyanese, and that is the only interest of the Government. That is my only interest.”

The President reminded the nation of his public statement assuring citizens that his Government was exploring other avenues for vaccines outside the COVAX facility to ensure all eligible persons could be immunised.

“That position would not change. Every single manufacturer, developer, country, whether it was for Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, we tried. We tried countries directly; we tried developers directly; we tried manufacturers directly; we tried diplomatic channels; we tried every single thing and we continue to try every single day.

We have requests with every single developer manufacturer for vaccines to protect the life of Guyanese people.  I announced that we were getting the Sputnik, from the UAE at $20.00. Very, very early I made it very clear to Guyanese people.”

Dr. Ali also noted that more than 74 countries across the world are using the Sputnik V and the clinical data has already been submitted to the European Union and World Health Organization  (WHO)approving authorities. He said countries all across the globe use the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines without WHO approval.

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Additionally, prior to WHO approval, the UK also used AstraZeneca.

“All the scientific literature tells you how important vaccination is and countries are fighting, desperately to get these vaccines. These vaccines are not easily procured. We have tried every single measure, and for Mr Harmon, to try to discredit those efforts, to now try to dissuade Guyanese at this important, this public health juncture of our country, is reckless and shameful.”

The President has urged the population not to fall prey to what he describes as the self-serving interests of the Opposition Leader.

“Heed the call of the Ministry of Health, call of scientists, heed the call of the scientific community, heed the call of doctors and get vaccinated.

Get vaccinated, I implore you, please, my Guyanese brothers and sisters, vaccination is an essential part of the struggle against COVID; it protects you; it protects your family, and it gives us an opportunity to get out of this pandemic. Please get vaccinated.”

The President said his Government will continue to roll out the Sputnik V vaccine and other vaccines when they become available. He said shipments are expected from the African Union and COVAX which will augment Government’s efforts.

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