Minister Ramjattan warns of possible penalties for bar owners who ignore COVID-19 advisories

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Minister of Public Security, Hon. Khemraj Ramjattan has issued a stern warning to bar owners and other business persons who continued to ignore public health advisories that limit the number of patrons to reduce the transmission of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-1) in Guyana.

Appearing on a live programme on Wednesday, Minister Ramjattan made it clear that “hard decisions” will have to be taken to ensure that persons are heeding all the necessary precautions to reduce the spread of the virus.

“In Guyana, at the markets, restaurants and bars and so many places people are still in clusters…You go to some places and people are still drinking at the bars…We have given advisories, yet people are not listening to us, there is this cavalier attitude, ” the minister stressed.

He added. “I have to make some hard decisions and ensure that the Guyana Police Force come with their vehicles, warn them to disburse, we will have to revoke the licenses of bar owners.”

The Public Security Minister said it is imperative that the advisories are heeded and if need be, they may have to implement certain penalties for those who choose to ignore these health safety measures.

He noted that currently, Guyana, like many other small developing stated cannot deal with a massive outbreak of the virus and therefore, individuals must be responsible and do their part in ensuring the measures set out by the Ministry of Public Health are being followed.

At a minimum, the government is asking citizens to stay away from places that allow for huge congregations since this is crucial for preventing the spread of the contagious illness, Minister Ramjattan said.

“We do not have the firsthand health systems like Italy, England and China to deal with this issue. So, we have to be very careful… in Guyana, it is vitally important that we practice social distancing during this time to avoid catching or infecting others if we have it. That is the minimum we are asking people.”

The Government of Guyana has implemented a number of measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including stopping international flights and closing its borders.

The country’s COVID-19 infection toll remains at five with one death and four in isolation.

As of March 25, there are nine persons under mandatory quarantine and four under mandatory isolation. 543 calls were made to the toll-free COVID-19 hotline numbers. Ninety percent of the calls were from Region Four.

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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.