Joint Services to get tough on enforcing COVID guidelines
As Guyana heads steadily towards the 10,000 COVID-19 infection mark with cases increasing daily, the Ministry of Health has asked the Joint Services to get tough on its enforcement of the COVID-19 measures and restrictions.
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony on Monday also said that citizens who flout the COVID-19 guidelines will be placed before the court.
“I think you’ll see more people being charged for not wearing masks and those that are not complying with the guidelines, I think they are going to see stiffer penalties coming their way,” he said.
The minister explained that he engaged the National COVID-19 Task Force and it was at that level that the decision was taken to have the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force do more stringent enforcement of the curfew, social distancing and capacity operation for businesses.
Dr Anthony said it is worrisome that persons are not even adhering to some of the basic guidelines, such as wearing a mask.
“There must be increased enforcement of the COVID guidelines because if people continue to disregard these guidelines by not wearing masks, socialising, being very close to each other, gathering in these public spaces that they are closely together, we are going to have spread,” the Health Minister said.
He said Guyanese seem to have become complacent, but warned that this could become a major problem for the country if the spread of the deadly disease is not contained.
“People need to start taking this thing a little bit more seriously. I think people have dropped their guard a little bit and they think that COVID is over. COVID is not over,” Dr Anthony said.
The COVID-19 Task Force will also be looking into the use of public transportation and adherence to the guidelines. Dr Anthony further pointed out that with about 900 active cases currently, with most of the infections in Regions Four and Three, it is time for every individual to play their part in curbing the spread.
Thus far, 218 persons have died from the disease since March 2020, over 50 are hospitalised at the West Demerara Regional Hospital and the Liliendaal Infectious Disease Hospital (the Ocean View COVID-19 Hospital).
Twelve of those hospitalised are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Dr Anthony said the onus is on all individuals, government agencies, private sector boaccdies and businesses.