COVID-19 Task Force to decide whether to lift curfew on May 3
The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) has not yet decided whether it will end the 12-hour curfew on May 3.
The curfew from 18:00hrs to 06:00hrs along with physical distancing measures and restrictions on the movement of people were implemented on April 3 for one month.
However, Chairman of the NCTF, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said the task force will take into consideration, the caution expressed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to guard against lifting the curfew too early.
“I cannot say at this point in time whether or not curfew will be lifted, there has been no representation to the task force to this effect,” Nagamootoo said during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“As of now, I cannot say any measures have been relaxed,” he said.
He said the curfew has worked in stemming the spread of the disease, adding that “if something is working and working for the interest of Guyana, then we will need to review its effectiveness and make decisions as we go along.”
Country representative of the PAHO/WHO, Dr William Adu Krow at a virtual press conference on Friday last, also lauded the positive impact of the curfew on the spread of the disease and warned against relaxing the restrictions too early.
The WHO had projected that Guyana will have 20,000 cases by May 1.
However, with the COVID-19 measures in place, he said the cases are far below what has been projected for each day.
Dr. Adu-Krow had said that if the curfew is lifted on May 3, there will be over 5,000 cases “in no time.”
Since the implementation of the curfew along with other emergency measures, the Task Force has made some changes upon request. One such change was the inclusion of Attorneys-at-law as essential workers to allow for them to move freely. This was done in response to a plea from the Bar Association of Guyana.
Nagamootoo said the Government does not want to impede activities in the productive sector.
“We have shared the ideas of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other institutions and the good example in combatting the virus…we need to come up with our…local solutions that do not paralyze our economy, that does not paralyse the distribution of essential goods and commodities, we need to be able to keep that in mind that our country is unique.
“…while we have a list of essential services at this time, it is not immutable, we can always look to see what are the other essential services that we need to add…different from social activities,” Nagamootoo added.
All social activities are prohibited during the ongoing curfew along with religious functions.