New Amsterdam implements curfew to safeguard against COVID-19

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By Isanella Patoir

The New Amsterdam Mayor and Town Council is enforcing the concept of social distancing by implementing temporary curfews on businesses within the municipality, aimed at reducing the risk of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mayor Winifred Haywood told the News Room that the Council held a meeting with businesses on Monday and agreed that all bars and restaurants will be closed at 18:00hrs, all supermarkets will be closed at 19:00hrs and drug stores at 21:00hrs.

This took effect Wednesday night.

“It has been good; just a few people they were still opened [Wednesday night], we did a move around and we spoke to them and they agreed that they tried their best to comply,” the Mayor told the News Room.

Before implementing the curfew, the Mayor and team also visited the various businesses to raise more awareness.

“What we said to them if they are not complying, we might have to lockdown,” the Mayor said.

Divisional Police Commander Calvin Brutus has also been given the task to have the Police enforce the order should the businesses fail to adhere to the curfew.

“We learnt that some churches were open so we had a meeting this morning with ministers and pastors and they agreed they are going to comply with the guideline of the Ministry of Health and WHO,” the Mayor said.

The Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) of Guyana has called on all religious leaders and stakeholders to practice social distancing for the next seven weeks.

The Mayor noted that they do not know how long these measures will last but noted that they have begun sanitization exercises in the town.

The Mayor is encouraging residents to be safe and comply with these measures.

“We are asking our people that they don’t come on the road, only if they need their groceries, your vegetables and medicine because we don’t want the big crowd it is not good for us.”

Guyana has five confirmed cases of the disease with one death. The cases are all related to the first victim who died on March 11.

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