Speaker denies Opposition’s request to debate restrictions targeting unvaccinated Guyanese

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A request by Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon to debate the latest gazetted requirements which, among other things, prevent unvaccinated persons from visiting a government agency except by appointment, was denied on Monday by Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir.

Following a short presentation from Harmon, pleading for the discussion to be allowed as a matter of urgent public interest and importance, Speaker Nadir said while he considered the issue important it was not urgent.

“The issue here is urgency…what we have is an ongoing issue which under the rules that apply to urgency it doesn’t apply and so I would not be able to allow your request,” Nadir said.

Harmon told the National Assembly that the requirements amount to an undue imposition on citizens.

“Those measures severely hamper the ability of the people of Guyana to access public and government services,” he said.

The gazetted order, in addition to instructing unvaccinated persons to make an appointment to visit any government agency or ministry, also mandates all operators and conductors of public transportation to be vaccinated and have their vaccination card with them.

Unvaccinated persons are also not allowed into restaurants, bars and hotels and other places of business.

Over the last week, there were a few opposition-organised protests across the country against the new requirements.

But Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony has reported a significant increase in persons turning up to be vaccinated, giving the government’s vaccination programme a boost.

Previously, vaccinated uptake was hampered by doubts cast on the efficacy of the vaccines by opposition representatives.

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