COVID-19: Committee formed to give advice on relief measures

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The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) Friday announced that a sub-committee has been formed to advise on social assistance.

“This sub-committee is chaired by Director General Joseph Harmon and includes Ministers Amna Ally, Catherine Hughes and Haimraj Rajkumar along with NCTF Secretary Imran Khan and is to also include a designated senior official from the Ministry of Finance,” the NCTF said in a statement.

The News Room previously reported that the Task Force has decided to put on pause the distribution of food hampers by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC).

“We took the view that this is going to be a long term matter and therefore a one-time distribution to items in some communities will not suffice because in the long run somebody who receives a package in April most likely will need a packaged in May, June July and it goes on,” said Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon.

He explained that going forward, the hampers will be distributed under new guidelines including the establishment of a database as the Government is looking to also distribute vouchers in the form of cheques.

“What I am talking about is the systems that identifies who are the vulnerable in our community; in the past we had used certain lists to determine who are the vulnerable but in this pandemic, we have a situation of people who were not vulnerable before the pandemic but have become vulnerable now.”

Meanwhile, the Task Force is pleading with citizens to continue and intensify practising social distancing, to adhere to the curfew and stay at home order and all official COVID-19 advisories.

The NCTF said it remains concerned about the increasing numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Guyana, now up to 57 in total, with 6 deaths.

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