Persons to be charged, fined, for flouting Covid measures

-as Gov’t steps up enforcement to reduce transmissions

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony says citizens will have to feel the brunt of the law if they continue to disregard the COVID-19 measures, putting themselves and others at risk of contracting the disease.

During Thursday’s COVID-19 update, the Minister said the National COVID-19 Task Force has discussed its next approach to dealing with this matter.

Minister of Health, Hon Dr Frank Anthony

“A lot of people have been charged so far with breaching these orders, and we are going to continue to do that. In fact, from the last Task Force, we are going to step up the enforcement because we are seeing people not paying heed to the warnings that we have put out, and if they don’t, then we will see a rise in cases.

If you don’t wear a mask and the police arrest you, you will be fined. There is a specific fine that is in the Order that the magistrates can use. They can also impose other penalties on you. So, mask wearing is essential. If businesses breach the Covid orders, there are a set of measures there as well that can be used, and I think the magistrates have been doing that,” he said.

Minister Anthony also said that as a result of breaches, increased transmissions have been recorded.  

“Over the last 24 hours, we have had 126 positive cases. Most of those are coming from Region Four.  There’s a number of persons who are already in the hospital. We have right, now 52 persons in hospital, this is a serious thing.

So, while we are doing vaccination and that is meant to certainly help, people still have to abide by the rules that we have out there or you’re going to get infected and a percentage of persons are going to end up in the hospital, and a percentage of those in the hospital are going to die.”

Minister Anthony said COVID-19 is not a joke or a hoax as many people still believe, but an infectious disease. He said people are dying because of this disease and unless everyone takes the outlined precautions – wearing a mask and social distancing – the consequences will be dire.

The Ministry has also noted that several healthcare workers in Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region 10) have been refusing the vaccine. Dr. Anthony urges the workers to take every precaution necessary to safeguard their health and that of their patients.

Meanwhile, healthcare workers in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) have completed vaccination of their staff, with the other administrative regions following closely behind.