Peeved that some bars are not adhering to the social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan says that he will have to make some “real hard decisions” to revoke the licenses of these entities.
“But you go some places, in and around the country, people still drinking at the bars. Now I have to do some real hard decisions and start ensuring that the Police come with their vehicle, warn them to disperse and we will probably have to revoke their licenses of bar owners and all of that…we are ensuring that they heed the advice,” Ramjattan said during a live ‘late-night discussion’ Wednesday on the official APNU+AFC Facebook page.
He expressed disappointment that Guyanese continue to display a “cavalier and carefree” attitude towards the global pandemic.
“We have to ensure then if it has to be with certain decrees with penalties behind them, we’re going to start doing that.”
On Thursday, the National COVID-19 Task Force expressed ‘deep concern’ about the large number of persons who continue to ignore the advisories of social distancing and practising good hygiene.
The task force urged “persons to ‘decluster’ in public spaces, to zealously practice social distancing and to refrain from socializing. Guyanese are advised to spend as little time in public as is possible and to only leave their homes when absolutely necessary.”
While some regions across the country have instituted curfews, there are no restrictions in Region 4 and persons are still observed crowding, commercial banks, restaurants, supermarkets and bars.
“But somehow you know this colloquial term ‘a lot of people hard ears’…and they just don’t get it,” Ramjattan expressed.
Ramjattan noted that the Public Infrastructure Ministry will soon announce guidelines limiting the number of persons allowed inside a minibus and cars.
The Public Security Minister reminded that Guyana does not have a first-class health care system and so people need to adhere to the guidelines, especially social distancing.
“We really do not have all the testing equipment…our private hospitals do not have any system or any equipment that can take care of testing or even treating Coronavirus.
“It is important then as best as we can do which is social distancing…Even that, a number of people in Guyana, in the markets, in the bars, restaurants so many other places are still in clusters,” Ramjattan complained.
He said the COVID-19 Task Force is now making some “serious serious” decisions on the way forward.
Guyana reported and confirmed its first case of the disease on March 11 which resulted in the death of a woman who had travelled from the United States.
Her husband, two sons and a 13-year-old child have since tested positive for the virus; they remain in isolation at a health facility.
There has been no confirmed case since in Guyana.