Opposition Leader and former Chief Executive Officer of the COVID-19 Task Force Joseph Harmon on Friday pushed back against the Government’s decision to reduce the hours of curfew and reopen Guyana’s airport as the number of COVID – 19 cases and deaths continue to rise.
Harmon, while speaking during a virtual press conference, said the move by the Government is reckless as he asked for reconsideration of the latest revision to the COVID – 19 measures and guidelines.
At a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the Government took a decision to reduce the 12-hour curfew from 6pm to 6am. The curfew now stands at 9pm to 4am, five hours less than what was previously in place.
The Government also announced that it intends to reopen the country’s two international airports on October 12, 2020; the airports have been closed since March 2020. The reopening would allow for scheduled commercial flights and all persons entering Guyana have to test negative first before they are allowed to board a flight.
But Harmon believes that this is contrary to professional advice.
He said it seems these new measures are geared towards satisfying business interests over the health of people.
“In this environment, I urge all Guyanese to take individual safety measures seriously, practice social distancing, avoid psychical contact, wash your hands,” he added.
Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority Egbert Field had said that he would support the reopening of the airports with the COVID – 19 guidelines in places that would allow for strict testing before and upon arrival.
He had expressed confidence that it can be done safely.
The Government also announced on Thursday that it would deploy a total of 500 army ranks to assist the police in enforcing the COVID measures in place which remains stern in the gatherings of large groups of persons.