Wider discussions needed on living in a COVID-19 environment -President Ali

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says there is need for wider discussions on how to live in the COVID-19 environment since it is impractical to live under lockdown conditions indefinitely.

His comments came during an interview with Jamaica’s CEEN TV- ‘The Conversation’ Sunday evening.

“It calls for broader consultation and broader response but as President I think that the time has come for us to discuss protocols that will allow us to live and manage in a COVID environment.

“We have to be able to manage in a COVID environment but we cannot do so being continuously locked away… If we continue in this lockdown mode, hopefully the vaccine comes, after that, the magnitude of the economic and social impact would create another nightmare for us,” President Ali said.

He added that as a developing country, Guyana will need to ensure that measures continue to be in place to deal with the health aspect, but business must restart as part of a comprehensive plan for economic recovery.  The pandemic saw a shutdown of Guyana’s ports, causing a massive shortfall in revenue.

“There are a lot of investors from Trinidad that call me on a daily basis in relation to movement and the same for Guyanese investors,” Dr. Ali related.

He noted that Guyana has been building capacity to effectively deal with the pandemic over the past five months. Guyana has moved from conducting 40 to 80 tests per day to now having 300 tests done on some occasions. Additionally, the country’s healthcare system is now producing COVID-19 results within two days.

Further, the country has embarked on providing training and retraining of education and other professionals to do their jobs utilising information and communication technology and other innovative methods and, in some instances, it has led to the creation of new types of employment.