The first batch of officers from the Guyana Police Force’s Rapid Emergency Response Unit has completed training and is expected to be deployed to COVID-19 hotspots in the interior very soon.
This is according to the Operations Director of the National COVID-19 Task Force Secretariat, Mark Archer.
During a telephone interview with this publication, Archer said that the teams will be tasked with ensuring that all COVID-related guidelines are enforced.
This particular batch will be strictly manning the hotspots primarily Regions 1 and 7, which remains the regions with the largest number of cases.
The director explained that a decision was made to send the first batch of officers into these areas because of the current spike in cases seen in these districts and also because access to these areas are not as easy as access to the coastland in terms of training.
This is also coupled with the fact that several of these interior locations are reportedly acting and living as per normal without adhering to the measures put in place by the Ministry of Public Health.
He added that teams from this unit will be deployed countrywide to manage “social distancing, adherence to the curfew and safety guidelines”, among other measures outlined in the COVID-19 Order (Health Ordinace Act).
In a recent virtual press conference, Archer stated that this unit will take the burden off of the police force, and will be able to focus solely on the enforcement of these guidelines without having to tend to other enforcement issues.
Speaking to Kaieteur News, Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) Dr. Karen Boyle, stated that these teams will assist the Ministry with stricter enforcement of these guidelines, since this is something that the Ministry is dependent on the police force for.
The teams also comprise individuals from the Ministry of Public Health.
Currently, a team comprising personals from the Public Health Ministry, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Regional Democratic Councils and Health Emergency Committees of Regions One and Seven are visiting these regions to engage residents and the mining community in a discussion about the current crisis facing Aranka, Region 7 and Moruca, Region 1.
Medical personnel accompanying the visiting team is also conducting large scale screening in these areas.
Further, in the most recent COVID-19 notice put out by the Ministry on July 3, all mining operations were halted in Moruca, in Region One and Aranka/Aranguy Landing,in RegionSeven.
It also restricts travel to and from these areas.
“No person shall travel into or out of the areas listed in the Schedule during the period 3rd July 2020 to the 16th July, 2020 without the authorisation of the Minister of Public Health,” the notice stated.
There are also restrictions on public gathering with a limitation of five persons maximum.
There is also a six feet social distancing requirement, sanitization of all public places including shops, landing, means of transportation and conveyances, and the wearing of masks when in public in the hinterland and mining communities.
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