Press Release – Prime Minister heartened by response during mask distribution exercise

Prime Minister, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips, this morning said he was encouraged by the response of Guyanese and feels the public awareness campaign Operation COVI-CURB is gaining momentum.

“Most of the people, maybe 99 per cent of the people that we interacted with out here had on a mask, and I am heartened by that.”

The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Hugh Todd were at the time conducting a public awareness and mask distribution exercise in the Stabroek Market and its environs.

The PM noted that several Government ministers are conducting similar exercises across the country.

He said that since the launch of Operation COVI-CURB on October 1, 2020, there has been a significant increase in awareness activities to ensure that the public complies with the COVID-19 guidelines.

“I think we are doing well and the message is being passed on to the people … it is gaining momentum and that is what we wanted.”

Minister Todd, who was infected with the virus at one point, encouraged people to never get too comfortable.

“You have to always keep your guard up; sometimes you’re in environments where you think that you don’t need to wear a mask, but it’s not offensive to keep your mask on.”

He noted that the virus does not discriminate and people should be hyper-vigilant in protecting themselves and their loved ones.

“I think people need to understand that even if you’re around people that you endear and you feel comfortable with, it’s a mark of respect to wear your mask and to ensure that others wear their masks also.”

Operation COVI-CURB is an initiative by the Government in collaboration with the private sector, civil society groups and volunteers. It uses education, moral suasion and enforcement to ensure that the public complies with the COVID-19 gazetted order.

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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.