Guyana, Suriname to discuss restart of ferry service with strict COVID-19 guidelines

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Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony will soon begin talks with his counterpart in Suriname on the recommencement of the Guyana/Suriname Ferry Service under strict COVID-19 guidelines.

The ferry service, which is the main transportation between the neighbouring countries, occupied a large part of discussions between President Irfaan Ali and Surinamese President Chandrikapersad Santokhi during a two-day State visit here.

At a joint press conference on Sunday morning, President Ali stated that “they [Ministers of Health] are to almost immediately begin collaboration on the protocols and to put systems in place for our review so that we can move expeditiously in returning and opening up in a manner that can bring back normalcy.”

But he said the systems must also take into consideration “the reality of the pandemic and ensuring the structure and the systems are there to support the decisions that will be made.”

The Guyana/Suriname Ferry Service was suspended on March 14 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made by the Surinamese authorities to close all ports of entries after the country recorded its first case of the novel Coronavirus.

One trip was allowed on the MB Sandaka on March 19 to transport stranded citizens of both countries.

Guyana recorded its first case of COVID-19 in March and it has now increased to 554 cases with 22 deaths.

Suriname, on the other hand, has recorded 2,203 confirmed cases with 29 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

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