Public must act responsibly to help curb spread of COVID-19
Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has made it clear that Government will not lock people in their own homes to avoid the spread of COVID-19, but would instead urge them to act responsibly.
Addressing the media on Friday afternoon, VP Jagdeo said the constant rise of COVID-19 cases in the country has less to do with Government’s management, and more to do with personal responsibility.
“If you are locked in your homes and you don’t come out, you would have less deaths, but the question is, could we have done that forever? Could we have kept people in that state forever? A lot of people who were willing at the beginning to accept that, do not want to accept it now,” Dr. Jagdeo said.
The Vice President said the public knows that the COVID-19 disease is deadly, yet persons continue to flout the Emergency Measures and take unnecessary risks, exposing themselves and others to infection. The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has been enforcing the measures, but the country can ill-afford to further stretch those resources.
“How many policing capabilities will we have for the country? That’s why we say we want to do soft enforcement; talking to people, urging them, advocacy. It’s your responsibility too, not just the Government’s responsibility; it’s your life that is at stake, your families’ lives,” the Vice President said.
With regard to the rising infection rate, the Vice President said the Ministry of Health’s robust approach to testing and monitoring continues to reveal the true infection numbers.
“[APNU+AFC] are making it like when they shut down the country, less people were dying. At that time, it was a rigid system and people were very fearful. We wish we couldn’t have any death; how do you prevent that? Do you go back to rigid enforcement again? No, you have to try to build the capacity for more testing, which we have done, so we are doing enormously more testing now than before,” Dr. Jagdeo explained.
Dr. Jagdeo emphasised that growth in the rate of the infection was local and not from persons entering the country via the main airports, therefore stopping the spread of COVID-19 was a shared responsibility between citizens and the Government.
The Government has also increased the capability of hospitals to treat the disease ensuring more frontline drugs, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines and other essential medication and equipment services are available. It is also pursuing efforts to ensure that Guyana has access to any vaccines that may become available, the Vice President said.