Reg. 6 Chairman welcomes resumption of Guyana/Suriname ferry service
The authorities in Region Six continue to grapple with illegal border crossings from Suriname into Guyana and this is due mainly to the suspension of the Guyana/Suriname ferry service, according to Regional Chairman, David Armogan.
Without the ferry service, the alternative is using the ‘back track’ route to illegally enter and leave Guyana.
As such, the Chairman is pleased with the recent announcement by the President of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi to provide a temporary solution to resume the MV Canawaima ferry service.
The vessel will be taken to dry dock for rehabilitation works while the public and private sectors in both countries will be called upon to assist with the temporary solution.
Meanwhile, the Chairman anticipates that movement of goods and people between South Drain and Moleson Creek will resume without any hiccups.
“It will be a good thing because we will be able to regulate people coming in and out and we will be able to check them as well and it is much safer too for people to travel with the ferry if it can be put in place back as early as possible.
“Almost every other day we are arresting people who are coming over from Suriname,” Armogan told the News Room on Thursday.
He said a number of persons who came through the back track also tested positive for COVID-19, however, he could not provide a number as to how many.
“A lot of these people coming too are being smuggled across and besides that we have discovered a few of them also have the virus.”
It is expected that strict COVID-19 measures will be put in place once the service resumes. The ferry service was initially suspended in May 2019 for repairs and then again in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One trip was allowed on the MB Sandaka on March 19 to transport stranded citizens of both countries.
Since the reopening of Guyana’s two international airports – the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) and the Eugene F. Correia International Airport – to commercial flights on October 12, a total of 11 persons have tested positive for COVID-19 upon their arrival.
Guyana recorded its first case of COVID-19 in March and as of November 25, 5, 236 cases were recorded with 149 deaths.