Vice-President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo has said the politically instigated protests against COVID-19 vaccine measures are “absolutely abhorrent”, noting that there were no such protests under the last government when President David Granger empowered his Health Minister to take drastic action, including destroying property and restricting freedom of movement.
On March 16, 2020, Granger had signed an Order with the preamble stating that “Article 139 (1 (g) of the Constitution provides that a person may be deprived of his or her personal liberty as may be authorised by law for the purpose of prevent the spread of an infectious or contagious disease. “
Jagdeo noted that Granger’s Order authorised his Minister of Health, Volda Lawrence, to, among other things:
- Destroy the personal effects, goods and buildings of Guyanese “exposed” to infection from COVID-19;
- Conduct house to house visitation;
- Restrain, segregate and isolate persons who may have been exposed to COVID-19; and
- Prohibit or restrict the movement of persons, as well as public of private conveyances within and to and from areas deemed infected.
The PPP government recently announced that all persons visiting a Ministry of public office must show their COVID-19 vaccination card or otherwise make an appointment if they are not vaccinated.
Many other agencies and public restaurants and bars have adopted the measures.
“The PPP/C continues, assiduously, with its efforts to ensure that Guyanese lives are saved by securing COVID-19 vaccines and advancing an aggressive vaccination campaign across the country,” Dr. Jagdeo stated.
“It is absolutely abhorrent that while every effort is being made to save lives, politically aligned elements are instigating protests.”
He said that “the naysayers protesting the push for increased vaccination against COVID – ironically clad in mask and face shields – remained silent in the face of Granger’s draconian order.”
Jagdeo said it is a fact that the global pandemic will continue to take the lives of our people unless we, collectively, act responsibly.
He noted that to date over 260,000 persons have received their first dose, while over 143,000 are fully vaccinated.
“I appeal to all our people to ensure that they are vaccinated so that our country can move faster to achieving herd immunity and to ensure that we reduce the number of lives being lost as a result of this global pandemic.”