NCTF approves 2 additional workstations for recount

DPI, Guyana, Monday, May 18, 2020

The National Covid-19 Task Force (NCTF) today gave its nod of approval to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)to set up two additional workstations to aid in fast-tracking the ongoing national recount of votes cast in the March 2, General and Regional Elections.

GECOM had proposed six sites for consideration by the NCTF, which it said would have assisted the commission in reaching its 25-day timeline for the national recount.

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GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander

However, in its report to the commission, the NCTF cited the issue of an already congested Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), where the recount is taking place.

Currently, 10 work stations are in operation with at least 16 persons in eight of them. Two workstations have at least 10 individuals.

Data coming out from the commission last week showed that at least 400 persons occupy the ACCC daily. These include party representatives, local and international observers, GECOM staff, members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF), food handlers and members of the maintenance crew.

Commissioner Vincent Alexander had said that the commission is obligated to work with whatever advice it receives from the task force.

“It is for the COVID-19 [task force] to say to us, whether the potential spaces we have identified can accommodate the numbers we have identified.”

He said the task force used its guidelines in making its decision, which was also influenced by things members observed during a site visit last week. During that visit by the NCT, it was observed that some staff members of GECOM were not wearing their masks nor observing the required social distancing measure.

“The report has expressed some concern about our total adherence to the stipulations that they had previously given to us. In giving permission, they emphasize that we should always adhere to the guidelines in terms of social spacing, washbasins, and sanitising,” Alexander told the media today.

He said the commission has already become receptive to the report from the taskforce. “We have to be responsive to those things that have been brought to our attention,” Alexander surmised.

GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward later disclosed that the Regions Seven has been allotted one of the workstations and the other has been assigned to Region Six.

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