GEORGETOWN, MOPH – His Excellency President David Granger, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, approved a menu of measures under the Public Health Ordinance empowering the Public Health Ministry to take strong measures “to prevent and control the spread” of COVID-19 in Guyana.

Accordingly, the Public Health Minister, Hon. Volda Lawrence, with the backing of the ‘Direction By The President,’ shall take measures to “restrain, segregate and isolate persons suffering from the disease, or who may be likely from exposure to the infection suffer from the disease” the document said.

The Public Health Minister shall also make decisions to “remove to the hospital and provide curative treatment of persons suffering from the disease”.

Also, the Public Health Minister may “remove, disinfect, and destroy the personal effects, goods, buildings and any other article, material or thing exposed to infection from the disease”.

The government’s Health Minister shall make decisions about the speedy burial or cremation of the dead; facilitate house to house visitation and inspection; facilitate the provision of medical aid and accommodation and promote cleanliness, ventilation and disinfection and “prevent spread  of the disease on the seas, rivers, waters of Guyana, and on the high seas within 12 miles from baseline and well as on land.

The Order signed by the President also makes provision for the Health Minister to take measures to “diagnose, prevent or check the disease, including the prohibition or restriction of movement of persons and public and private conveyances of any kind whatsoever within and to and from an infected area and take any measures considered necessary.”

The document also makes provisions for the Finance, Education and Citizenship Ministers to take “all measures to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19” in Guyana.

The order also states that “all government agencies and local government authorities are urged to render assistance and cooperation to undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate response and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the COVID-19 threat.”

In addition, it encouraged all citizens, residents, tourists, and members of the private sector  to “act in accordance with the law and to comply with any lawful directives and advisories issued by appropriate government agencies to prevent further transmission of the COVID-19 and ensure the safety and well-being of all “

“This Direction shall remain in force and effect until withdrawn by the President,” the document advised.