Police working shifts to ensure Suriname back track remains closed amid COVID-19

─enforcing curfew in New Amsterdam

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Guyana Police Force in Region Six has stepped up measures to ensure the back-track route that leads to neighbouring Suriname remains closed as efforts continue to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Commander for Region Six, Senior Superintendent Calvin Brutus told DPI, “we have policemen working there on shifts and based on information we receive, if we learn that they are dropping off at other points, we will shift to checking along those lines with the patrol.”

He disclosed that patrols are stationed at the Berbice Bridge checkpoint on the lookout for foreigners. Ranks are checking vehicles that are known to ply the back-track route scouting for foreigners looking to get back to Suriname.

“If we realize that there are foreigners who came through the backtrack, they are then escorted to relevant officials to be screened and of course immigration has their part to play,” Brutus said.

So far 12 foreigners – from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – were intercepted but could have not been deported because Suriname has closed its border and refuses to accept them at this time the commander explained.

The Region Six division is working with the National COVID-19 task Force to help stop the spread of the virus. They recently joined with the New Amsterdam Town Council to enforce a curfew.

The town council has initially mandated that all dining outlets are to be closed at 6pm; supermarkets and grocery shops closed at 7pm and all pharmacies were given an 8pm curfew.

This was subsequently amended to 4:30pm closure for supermarkets and grocery stores and restaurants are only allowed to offer delivery services until 4pm. Pharmacies are to be closed at 6pm instead of the previously announced time of 8pm.

“People are cooperating but for a few days, we had to go to ensure they were closed and make double checks. Some persons were still defiant so I had to call in those owners and have a talk with them at the office and they are now complying,” the Commander stated.

Brutus also highlighted that all the stations in the Region are following all precautionary measures such as washing their hands regularly and practising social distancing.

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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.