UN urges more stringent measures to stem spread of COVID-19 in Guyana

DPI, Guyana, Friday, March 27, 2020

The United Nations office in Guyana has called on the Government to impose more stringent measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

In a media release on Friday evening, UN Resident Coordinator in Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka cautioned Guyanese citizens against being care-free about the virus. Adding that she was very concerned that social gatherings were continuing despite public advisories discouraging this for some time.


UN Resident Coordinator in Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka.

“Social gatherings and movements of people are the biggest risks in the spread of COVID-19. The United Nations (UN) System calls on the Government to urgently introduce more stringent measures to stem COVID-19,” Tanaka stated.

She also suggested that as much as possible, persons should work-from-home and people’s movement should be limited to only essential errands.

The UN Resident Coordinator assured that the UN office stands ready to provide advice and assistance in elaborating and implementing a national response plan that covers the health sector and other socio-economic sectors.

This she explained is to help citizens cope with the impact of the COVID-19 response and in particular to protect the most vulnerable.

Tanaka also commended Guyana’s health authority, the Ministry of Public Health for initiating preventive measures early on, starting with health and border quarantine procedures. She urged that workers who were working around the clock in a high-stress and high-risk environment, responding to the outbreak needed to be protected.

“We have to protect the physical and mental health of these health workers and to keep the caseload manageable by stemming the spread.” Tanaka urged.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rages worldwide with 512,701 confirmed cases and 23,495 deaths as of 27 March 2020. In Guyana, there were 5 known cases and 1 death to date, however, Tanaka noted that there was no room for complacency.

“We have seen rapid acceleration from low numbers in many countries.  Prevention is critical and urgent,” UN Resident Coordinator emphasised