Covid-19 causing decline in private sector workforce-PSC Chairman

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Paul Cheong, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission

The newly discovered Omicron variant of the Coronavirus disease has been ravaging the private sector, with businesses’ workforce feeling the brunt. The Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman, Paul Cheong said when persons contract the virus, they are unable to go to work, obviously affecting output.

“Many small businesses would soon have to close their doors because they don’t have sufficient people to work. I know some services had to cut some of their business line, because they didn’t have sufficient people to work on all the lines and it’s right across,” Cheong said.

He is urging persons to take the virus very seriously and adhere to the established protocols, get vaccinated and take booster shots. 

“Covid is something very serious and it’s life-threatening and we have seen that we have been with Covid for more than two years now, and we have seen that we know how it’s operating, and we know the effects it’s having on lives. So, I want to use this opportunity to encourage every single person who has not been vaccinated, to get vaccinated.”

Cheong said the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, and therefore all protective measures need to be taken. 

He said, “We don’t want to lose our employees that we have trained, and the service, the quality of service when you have two or three persons have to do 10 persons’ job. It is a lot of pressure on those persons, so it’s affecting everyone, those who contract it, and those who didn’t.”

“We are looking at this in a short-term process…I think what happened here opened a lot of people’s eyes because, I think we get complacent, we took things for granted and so this is everybody’s business. It’s not one individual, it’s not Ministry of Health alone this is every single Guyanese need to pull their weight in terms of protecting themselves and doing their part,” he noted.

On Wednesday, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony said that proper ventilation, screening of employees entering the office, and ensuring persons are vaccinated or have taken the booster shots are ways offices could keep the virus at bay.

He added, “People, because they are familiar with each other in the workplace, they tend to remove their mask, so they are not wearing a mask in the workplace, and therefore they can get infected because they don’t know where their co-worker may have been and whether that co-worker would have been exposed.” 

The increasing Covid-19 infection rate has also had a significant impact on public sector employees.

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