Task Force cites COVID-19 breaches at recount site


The National COVID-19 Task Force has cited several breaches of its guidelines at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACC) where the national recount of votes is ongoing.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) had sought approval from the Task Force to increase the ten counting stations by six, but the Task Force has only approved two additional stations as a result of the breaches.

The Task Force, in its letter to GECOM, pointed out the breaches and according to the Commission’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward, they fear that additional stations would give rise to the probability of increasing the spread of the coronavirus.

“The letter stated that we were not in keeping with established guidelines on containment and mitigation measures,” Ward added.

She said the letter included some situational findings from the Health Emergency Operations Committee during its visit to the facility last week.

Those findings include the absence of soap and towels at designated handwashing stations, persons not wearing face masks and lack of physical distancing.

The Task Force is generally concerned with clustering and non-adherence to physical distancing protocols.

Ward said even with the establishment of the two new stations, GECOM will be looking at these findings to correct the deficiencies.

Ward clarified that even before receiving the approval of the Task Force, GECOM’s Chairman Justice (retired) Claudette Singh had already taken a decision to increase the counting stations by two.

GECOM is hoping that more recount stations will greatly assist in increasing the pace of the recount process.

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