With five confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease in Guyana, banks and businesses are being urged to provide some relief to citizens who have loans to pay and those who need to stock up on goods and anti-bacterial agents.
Mayor of Georgetown Ubraj Narine told a news conference Thursday that there are Guyanese who have been laid off from their jobs because businesses have scaled-down operations as a result of the new Coronavirus.
“It is not in my remit but as the city and banks and people who have loans, I call upon the banks to call in them and to have maybe a discussion or dialogue with them, so I know people have loans to pay and in this period of time we’re going through here as a nation, with COVID-19, there are a lot of things that happened.
“Some business shut down, some people are being laid off, some people are being sent home without pay and all these things them.
“And those same very people may have loans, have children to provide for… I want to say to the banks, the agency or institution that loan money to individual if they can able to…I plead with them to have dialogues with the people or persons so that they can able to give a break to deal with this COVID 19 and then they will be able to go back to their normalcy of paying their loans and so on.
“I know the banks in Guyana here, they have a heart. So as the Mayor of the City, I am calling for that dialogue,” Narine said.
The City Mayor also urged businesses not to drastically increase the price of anti-bacterial agents.
Meanwhile, the City Hall is taking measures to guard against the spread of the disease. According to Narine, he initially wanted to “wash down” streets in Georgetown but he was informed by Fire Chief, Marlon Gentle that the Fire Service does not have the resources for this.
As such, a decision was made to “wash down” the markets in Georgetown.
“The reason why I was suggesting to wash the streets down, there are a lot of people interact every day and if you’re able to wash it down…once a week or two times a week, it will bring some kind of level of sanitized or to got some kind of germs free in the atmosphere and where people dwell.”
City Hall will also be clamping down on the use of public washrooms.
“There are people out there who also got washroom renting to the public and all these things them, we must pay attention to it. We must put systems in place to have hand sanitizer, water so that people can utilize after using the washroom…so that they can be able to be in a hygiene condition after.”
The City Mayor reminded that all “activities” in Georgetown have been suspended until further notice.