Public, businesses must remain vigilant against COVID-19 at Christmas – Guyana Health minister

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony is appealing to the public and businesses to observe the COVID-19 measures as there is still a need for vigilance to curb transmission of the disease. 

The Minister made this plea today after revealing that the National COVID-19 Task Force continues to be bombarded by “unreasonable requests”. 

“People have been asking us all kinds of crazy things. They want us to reopen bars. I don’t know in which world they are living in; they seem to ignore all the things happening with the pandemic, and they want to reopen bars. They want people to go and come to the bars and have a drink, but you know that is a recipe for the spread of the infection,” the Minister said.

The Task Force has also received requests for restaurants to be reopened, Dr. Anthony said during Tuesday’s COVID-19 update. 

However, he noted that it is imperative that persons adhere to the preventative measures, even while participating in social activities that have been greenlighted.  

“I know a lot of people are suffering from COVID-19 fatigue. You don’t want to wear a mask, you are fed up with keeping social distance and those types of things, but if we don’t do these measures then, unfortunately, there are going to be more hospitalisations, and we would end up with more people dying.” 

Minister Anthony said getting people to practice social distancing has been challenging. 

“We all probably, by now, know someone who has had COVID-19 or in some cases persons who have died of COVID-19. And while we’re optimistic that our active cases are below 600, that doesn’t mean we have to be complacent, more so we are going into the Christmas season when people like to socialise more. We have to avoid this, and I keep repeating this.” Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony said Guyana’s testing capacity is now up to 300, and 400 samples per batch and up to 1,500 tests can be done during an eight-hour shift.