Task Force clamping down on businesses violating protective measures

– regions doing their part
– individuals urged to safeguard their health

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony is cautioning the public against participating in activities that pose a public health threat, even as the National COVID-19 Task Force has shut down some businesses which violated the gazetted precautionary measures.

Over the weekend, the Task Force closed several popular businesses as it continues to ramp up enforcement. While the Task Force has continuously engaged businesses to ensure compliance of the safety measures, some have breached the orders, jeopardising lives.   

Minister Anthony condemned this act. At the same time, he said the onus is also on individuals to make responsible choices and to refuse to participate in activities that put them at risk of contracting Covid.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

“This really is irresponsible behaviour because it puts people at risk. So, if you know that the orders we put out clearly stipulates that bars should not be opened nor should there be any indoor dining, why are you even patronising establishment that is in clear violation of these rules? People ought to be responsible as well as these businesses.”

Minister Anthony maintained that “no one is above the law” and those found flouting the guidelines would be penalised.

“We have written to everybody and if there are any institutions that people are aware of that [are breaching the guidelines] I suggest that you contact the Task Force Secretariat and bring that to their attention,” he added.

Regional efforts

Meanwhile, several regional administrations continue to employ strict measures to reduce the spread of the disease in their constituencies.

In the Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two), there are plans to establish a COVID-19 facility at the Suddie Regional Hospital to treat infected persons.

Speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Monday, Regional Health Officer, Dr. Ranjeev Singh said the facility is expected to be completed next week.

Regional Health officer, Dr. Ranjeev Singh

“It was previously the maternity waiting home now converted to the COVID centre. It was used prior to now, but we would have seen that there is need to modernise it and had some works done.”

The facility has 20 rooms which could accommodate two persons each.  Dr. Singh said the goal is to ensure people in isolation are comfortable.

The Region also conducts contact tracing when a positive case is recorded to reduce further transmission of the disease. Currently, there are 15 active cases with 202 cases recorded overall in Region Two.

In Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten), the regional administration launched an aggressive education and awareness campaign after it started to recorded a spike in Covid positive cases during the latter part of 2020. Residents and businesses responded to the efforts, resulting in a massive reduction of infection.  

Similarly, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) and Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five) employed robust measures to clamp down on infections.

Recently, Region Three Regional Chairman, Mr. Sheik Ayube told DPI that following the reopening of the country, the regional administration established sanitisation stations at schools, government buildings and at the Region’s major ports of entry – the Vreed-en-Hoop and Parika stellings.  This includes temperature monitoring for travellers from Leguan, Bartica and other areas. COVID-19 testing sites were also constructed at key areas in the Region.  

Additionally, the administration works closely with the police to ensure residents observe the gazetted COVID-19 preventative measures.    

Since Guyana recorded its first Covid case in March 2020, Region Five also embarked on a comprehensive education campaign, which has resulted in its low positive cases to date. A regional task force was set up to raise awareness about the dangers of the disease, particularly at hot spots, and other precautionary measures employed. The Region’s police are also very active in ensuring that the protocols are enforced by conducting regular checks at restaurants and bars.