Penalties for persons flouting mandatory mask-wearing orders
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony has warned that persons who choose not to wear a mask when in public can be fined. However, he said that this is not a direction that is necessary as everyone can simply do what is necessary to prevent becoming infected with COVID-19.
In an interview with the DPI on Saturday last, the Minister emphasised that the revised emergency protocols for August 16-31, 2020, provides for persons found flouting the measure to be fine and even imprisoned.
“I do not think many persons realise this but the orders that were passed making it mandatory for anyone who is in the public space, any public building to have to wear a mask because it is the law. But people have not been abiding by that law so one of the things we will be doing more of is the enforcement of that law.”
Minister Anthony reminded that wearing masks is one of the effective ways to contain the spread of COVID-19
“We do not want to lock up people for not wearing a mask so we appeal to persons to do the right thing because it is going to protect you and your family. Mask wearing is important and we have to keep emphasising that and I hope by understanding how this disease is transmitted that people start paying more attention to wearing a mask.”
The Health Minister also noted that while persons endeavour to wear their masks, it must be done correctly. This means the face mask should cover the nose, mouth and chin. When not in use, the mask should be safely stowed away or discarded and not be placed on any other part of the face or neck.
Mandatory mask-wearing along with the other preventative measures; handwashing/sanitising and social distancing are the key measures to halting the severe impact of COVID-19.
“Everybody wants the cases to come down but the cases won’t come down unless everybody plays their part and this requires a national effort, it takes the whole of Guyana if we want to see the cases come down.” Dr. Anthony concluded.