Crowd gathers at President’s former home seeking COVID-19 relief
A large crowd gathered at President David Granger’s former residence at Thorne Drive, D’Urban Backlands early Thursday seeking assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
No social distancing rules were observed when the News Room visited the area and some persons were not wearing face masks. While the Guyana Police Force was present, they did not manage to disperse the crowd, despite constant warnings.
Large gatherings are prohibited under the COVID-19 Emergency Measures and the wearing of face masks is also mandatory in public.
Three years ago the President converted the house into an information technology and digital learning centre named after his father Chetwynd.
Mia Ritchie, Assistant Secretary for the Centre, explained that there was a miscommunication about what they are doing.
She told the News Room that the Centre is assisting persons to fill out forms in order to be granted a food hamper or voucher under the Ministry of Social Protection COVID-19 Response. However, persons showed up in numbers on Thursday after a rumour spread that the vouchers and hampers were being distributed at the Centre.
“You have to understand there is a need and if a voucher or hamper is being shared out or anything people will show up because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the constraints that we have being under,” Ritchie said.
The Centre embarked on the project to help persons who do not have access to the internet or a computer to fill out the forms online. Ritchie explained that some of them do not even understand how to fill out the forms.
“We are filling out the forms, taking their information and it goes to the Ministry and they vet it and call them directly to tell them if they were qualified or not,” Ritchie stated.
Ritchie said persons have been coming from the East Bank Demerara, East Coast Demerara, West Bank Demerara and Georgetown seeking assistance.
She also noted that a number of persons have already benefited.