After months of being stranded in the USA due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision taken by the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) has brought the first group of Guyanese home on Saturday,
The returning nationals told DPI they were thrilled to be back home.
“This is the best country in the world! There is no place like home. It is so nice to be back home and to see nice welcoming faces,” exclaimed 84-year old John Quail, one of 137 passengers that disembarked Saturday’s Eastern Airlines flight.
John who was stranded in Miami for three months and six days pledged to do all that is necessary to protect himself against COVID-19.
“You got to ensure that you adhere to the regulations and do what is necessary and keep safe,” Quail remarked.
Noting that it was joyous feeling to be in her home country, Sherida Sattaur said she will comply with the stipulated 7-day home quarantine along with other guidelines implemented by the NCTF.
Sattaur added, “first of all I will stay at home for the 7 days that I have to as mandated and then I will be working from home, and I will not be going out much. If I really have to go out for necessities, I’m going to make sure I wear my mask.” Meanwhile, Drupattie Mohan stated there will be no difficulty for her to observe the Ministry of Public Health’s protocols since she had to comply with those instituted in the USA while in Miami.
Mohan further commended the process outlined by the NCTF that has led to her return to Guyana. “As long as you have your documents,” she explained, the process is smooth.
Welcoming the returning Guyanese was Minister of Public Health Hon. Volda Lawrence who commended CJIA’s staff for following the necessary health protocols.
The Minister said Saturday’s flight was possible due to the continuous work of all ministries, agencies and stakeholders.
“We would have been able to put in place several elements needed to ensure that we can be able to cushion any effects that will spill out from persons travelling from high-risk countries to Guyana,” the Public Health Minister explained.
With a mandatory 7-day quarantine in effect, the Minister iterated that the Surveillance Department of the Public Health Ministry will remain in contact with the citizens to ensure compliance with health guidelines.
The Minister further noted that the Health Emergency Operations Department is also in a position to address any possible cases should one of the returned citizens later test positive for COVID-19.
Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority Lt. Col. Egbert Field was also at the airport to welcome the nationals. He told DPI that more repatriation flights are expected during the second week of June.
On May 22, the NCTF in a release stated that it will permit the controlled re-entry of approximately 300 Guyanese through the nation’s international airports. All returning Guyanese are obligated to observe several measures set out by the NCTF. (DPI)