National COVID-19 response to safeguard nation
– President tells emergency multi-stakeholder meeting
His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, yesterday, convened a virtual, emergency multi-stakeholder meeting to discuss urgent issues related to strengthening and advancing the National COVID-19 response. The meeting was held at State House.
“These discussions are vital as we seek to send a singular message on national efforts. Together, we can develop a National COVID-19 response to protect and safeguard all Guyanese,” President Ali said.
The meeting discussed the need to ensure that there is a balance between the health of the economy and the health and wellbeing of the citizens. It also examined how to enhance the capacity of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control at Liliendaal to function as an isolation facility as well as the reopening of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport for commercial travel.
President Ali noted that while such a step is integral to the stabilising and re-energising of the economy, a decision will not be taken without considering the safest and most practical model moving forward.
Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, who also attended the meeting, emphasised the importance of a comprehensive analysis of the situation to the creation of sound policies to guide the national COVID-19 response.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony outlined Guyana’s current status regarding testing and positive cases. The Minister also reiterated the importance of finding the right balance moving forward.
Additionally, PAHO/WHO Country Representative, Dr. William Adu-Krow noted the key role of effective monitoring systems in dealing with the pandemic, emphasising the importance of testing, enforcement and education.
Private Sector representatives and members of the media also attended the meeting. These stakeholders were also given the opportunity to offer their suggestions and input on key aspects to be included in a coordinated plan moving forward. These suggestions centred around strengthening the enforcement of safety measures and protocols, enhancing the training of health personnel; access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); the importance of strengthened inter-agency communications amongst all stakeholders and the adoption of the best strategy moving forward.
Following the discussions, the President pledged to continue engaging all stakeholders as his Government moves towards formalising a concerted strategy to take the country forward. He also assured that all the concerns raised in the discussions will be examined. The President also informed the meeting that sub-committees will be established to tackle pressing COVID-19 related issues head on.