With the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths rising steadily in the country, President Irfaan Ali has issued a call on citizens to act more responsibly and follow the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the President said citizens need to understand that the virus can only be managed if persons follow the guidelines which are in place.
“The people have a responsibility too. Guyanese have to understand this is not a joke; this is their lives they are playing with.”
The Government has come under criticism for not doing enough to enforce the guidelines while moving ahead with the reopening of the country.
According to Mr. Ali, the COVID-19 Task Force has increased its efforts to enforce the guidelines by carrying out more aggressive patrols aimed at persons breaching the guidelines.
“The only other thing now is to have the Courts play a role in sentencing people, but we have really stepped up. The Task Force is doing a good job. They are out there every single night until three to four in the morning.”
The President said citizens must understand the true value of their lives.
“If you don’t understand that your life has value, then at least understand that your actions will impact other persons’ lives and appreciate the value that other people place on their lives. It is time for us to understand that sometimes we have to take responsibility, and this is a case and scenario in which we have to exercise that responsibility.” The President noted.
He said he is also disappointed at how persons have been reacting to the Task Force’s efforts to arrest those found flouting the regulations.
“If you look at the army bus the other night, I see responsible people sharing this on social media as if it is some big joke. The reckless behaviour in that bus and people who I hold with great levels of responsibility and high levels of education sharing it as if it was a joke”, he complained.
He noted that while the Task Force work is commendable, it is also challenging.
“If the Police tomorrow picks up 300 persons and take them to the station then you have another problem because they will go there and overcrowd the station and we have more difficulties. So, at the end of the day, we have to act as a collective. We are behaving sometimes as if this pandemic doesn’t exist.”
Guyana has recorded more than 11,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past year. The death toll currently stands at 258.
In the past two weeks alone, more than 1000 new cases were recorded.