Dr Ramsammy backs tough action for unvaccinated Guyanese
- endorses vaccination proof at workplaces
The battle against the COVID-19 virus will never end if some people take the necessary precautions, like vaccination, while others do not, says Ministerial Advisor Dr. Leslie Ramsammy.
For this reason, he endorses France’s model to only allow vaccinated or weekly negative tested health care workers to go to work. He offered his comments at the sidelines of an event on Monday.
A former Health Minister himself, Dr. Ramsammy says public health is not about an individual’s right but rather the right of everyone, however, that right is conditional.
He referred to persons who smoke tobacco although advised by the Ministry of Health that it is dangerous. Dr. Ramsammy reminded that persons are allowed to smoke conditionally, but prevented from doing so in public spaces.
That same reasoning can be applied to the COVID-19 vaccines, he indicated.
“You are free not to take the vaccine, it is your right but you cannot then put my life at risk and that is what public health is about,” the former Health Minister said.
While the government is working assiduously to manage the pandemic, Dr. Ramsammy pointed out that it cannot be the people who vowed to serve and maintain the health and well-being of the population that is being counterproductive to the government’s efforts.
Furthermore, he stated that the rule should not be applied to health care workers alone, but to anyone who refuses to be vaccinated.
“They must, therefore, guarantee the rest of us, that they are not going to represent a risk to any one of us, and how do they do that?
“If you don’t want to take the vaccine is to prove to me that you are not infected before you can share my workplace or before you can share my other spaces,” he added.
Essentially, if France’s model is to be adapted in Guyana, Dr. Ramsammy noted that the cost of the COVID-19 tests would be solely borne on the individual since the vaccines are being offered free.
“In order to participate in everyday life, go to work, go to a restaurant go on a bus, you must prove that you are COVID free by taking a COVID test, but that test will not be offered by the public sector free.
“You don’t want the vaccine…are you are more scared of the vaccine than of COVID-19? Then go do the tests at your cost,” the Ministerial Advisor added.
He said that the pandemic will not end unless there is a consorted effort to do so, hence the reason vaccination is important; and with the advent of the new variants of the virus, being vaccinated is becoming even more important to return the world to normalcy.
Already, Guyana has recorded 513 deaths with more than 21,000 confirmed cases. Just about 50% of the adult population have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.