Opposition accuses Govt of poorly managing COVID-19 pandemic

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From left Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon, President Irfaan Ali

A statement from the main parliamentary Opposition on the rising COVID-19 cases reads as follows:

Throughout last year (2021), the APNU+AFC has repeatedly placed on record its concern over the intransigent position by the PPP/C led Government of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in relation to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Today the 4th day of January 2022, we are confronted with a worsening situation related to the poor management of the COVID-19 pandemic which continues to manifest itself as a major security threat to our nation. 

In just one day we have recorded approximately 485 cases tested positive and we are not clear whether all of the testing for that period has been addressed. We are also unable to say what is the backlog in relation to specimens to be tested. 

Since the APNU+AFC‘s objection to the disbandment of the National Task Force related to COVID-19, the situation seems to have worsened. The Opposition and the nation at large have been deprived of our right to know the status of the efforts by the government to address the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It is clear there are a series of problems affecting the operation of the programme. For example: 

1. There is lack of access to information on the circulating variants especially whether OMICRON is in Guyana or not.

2. There is no available Epidemiological Data.

3. A number of testing sites across the country have been closed.

4. There is a shortage of test kits, and

5. A high percentage of medical personnel have been infected with the virus. 

This list represents a small subset of issues affecting the management of the programme that places the population at a high risk of COVID-19 infection. 

A major concern is the Ministry of Education’s blind rush to reopen schools notwithstanding the epidemiological uncertainty re COVID-19 and the upsurge in cases. 

In front of our very eyes we are witnessing a global upsurge and to make matters worse as a country we are unable to speak with any degree of certainty how this situation is being addressed to protect the health of the population.

The Minister of Health has no answers and as a consequence we are a nation in a major state of uncertainty. 

We are calling once again on the Government to embrace truth and transparency in providing us with the information which would guide us in taking the necessary actions to protect ourselves. 

We are also encouraging our citizens to embrace public health guidelines of social distancing and masking coupled with vaccination. 

Let us protect ourselves and save the lives of our loved ones. The APNU+AFC calls on the Government and, in particular, the Ministry of Health to be responsible and have the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony understand that he has a responsibility to provide specific information to the citizens of this country. 

We cannot accept the Minister failing in his duty to be transparent and share the necessary information with the public to protect the health of the nation.

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