With the local economy taking a hit as the coronavirus numbers continue to climb in Guyana, President Irfaan Ali this evening announced a menu of measures to aid in the fight against COVID-19 while assisting the local economy at this time.
The President announced that he was making $4.5 billion available to aid in his government’s response to the pandemic.
He also announced that Guyana was seeking additional grants from international financial institutions to further boost the response to the pandemic.
The President said since his government took office, it has been focusing on getting more tests completed. He said while additional tests are being done, there is still a backlog of about 700 tests to be completed.
To that end, an additional 30 medical technologists are being trained to join the testing team. They are being drawn from both the public and private sectors.
According to the President, it is important for Guyana to get ahead of the disease and more tests and contact tracing will have to be done.
The recently commissioned Infectious diseases hospital will now be used to isolate COVID-19 patients. It will cater for up to 150 patients at one time.
Systems are to be put in place to ensure it is well suited for that.
On the education front, the President said $500 million will be going to the Education sector immediately to prepare schools for the eventual reopening and to also cater for virtual teaching sessions.
The Education Minister is to submit a comprehensive plan to address the concerns of parents and teachers and students as schools will remain closed throughout September.
President Ali also announced that the Bank of Guyana and the Commercial banks will be putting additional systems in place to further assist those customers with loans, allowing deferral of payments to December.