Request for additional workstations not granted

—“Public safety and wellness remain primary focus”- HEOC Coordinator

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, May 28, 2020

The request for additional workstations by Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission Justice (retd) Claudette Singh to hasten the national recount of votes cast at the March 2 General and Regional Elections has not been granted.

The decision was taken by the National COVID-19 Taskforce citing safety as its main reason taking into consideration the coronavirus pandemic.

This was disclosed in a letter penned by Coordinator of the Health Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) Dr. Colin James.

Dr. James said that despite being mindful of the nature and scope of activities being undertaken by GECOM, the Taskforce has concluded that “public safety and wellness remains the primary focus to mitigate the negative impact and to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

it was also highlighted that a review of the two reports compiled from previous visits to the Arthur Chung Conference Centre – April 21 and May 15 -added to the decision. It was noted on one visit that recommendations by the Taskforce were not being adhered to, which increases the risk of the virus being transmitted.

In the letter, Dr. James stated that the Taskforce has “determined that it cannot concede to the request for the installation and operation of additional workstations and increase the number of persons in the ACCC during the period of the recount.”

To date, Guyana has 150 cases of coronavirus after confirming another 11 today. That is inclusive of 11 deaths and 67 recoveries.

Already, the Taskforce had given the go-ahead for two additional workstations to be established which now takes the total number of workstations to 12 compared to the 10 the recount initially began with.

The recount of Regions One, Two, Three and Five are completed which leaves Regions Four, Six, Seven, Eight, nine and 10 to be finalised.

As of Wednesday, May 27, a total of 1,383 ballot boxes were completed with 956 remaining. GECOM is yet to decide on an extension to its 25-day timeline for the national recount which comes to an end on Saturday, May 30.

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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.