COVID-19 Task Force gives ‘go ahead’ for 10 recount stations

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The country’s health authorities have given the “go ahead” for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to set up 10 recount stations at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre for the national vote recount and have detailed measures the Commission must put in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

An expert health team toured the Conference Centre Monday and determined that the layout can accommodate eight of the recount stations having a maximum of 14 persons and the other two stations can have a maximum of 10 persons.

The Elections Commission is meeting to finalise an order which must be gazetted before the recount can commence. The commencement of the recount will start once a CARICOM Observer Team arrives in the country.

Public Relations Officer of GECOM Yolanda Ward told reporters Thursday morning that GECOM has not received any communication on the team’s travel plans by the CARICOM Secretariat.

It was determined that members of the team will be tested before arriving in Guyana and those who can’t will be tested here and they will have to be quarantined for 48 hours to await the test results.

The Ministry of Health team which visited the site to advise on the safe recount process comprised of Dr Colin James, Head the Emergency Health Operation Centre, and his deputy Dr Leston Payne; Dr Julian Amsterdam, Director Department of Standards and Technical Services; Mr David Williams, Chief Inspector of Vector Control Services; and Dr Nadia Liu, Director of Disease Control.

Regarding the rooms which would be used for the recount, the Health Team gave a list of 14 guidelines that must be followed.

These include: all rooms must have a table at the entrance and exit with disposable face masks, hand sanitizers, disposable gloves, disposal hand tissue, foot pressed type-rubbish bins with garbage bags to avoid touching; staff should wash hands every 2-0-25 minutes; persons must be 3-6 feet apart from each other; disposable/surgical masks should be changed every 30-60 minutes, and persons entering and exiting the building at all points of entry must have their hands sanitize so that they do not bring nor take out any potential infectious substance.

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