Dec 05, 2020 News
Kaieteur News – Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony yesterday announced protocols that will be implemented for the opening of the Moleson Creek port linking Guyana and Suriname.
While delivering the daily COVID-19 update, the Minster disclosed that the border is slated to open on December 12, but in doing so efficient measures are needed.
According to Anthony, Guyana and Suriname have been liaising to develop proper guidelines before the border reopens and both governments wanted to ensure that the guidelines of both countries are synchronized.
Persons coming to Guyana from Suriname will be required to produce a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test that was conducted 72 hours prior to their travel date. If these persons give a negative PCR test beyond 72 hours but it was conducted seven days before their travel date, they will be mandated to do a second PCR test upon arrival in Guyana.
These measures are similar to Guyana’s air travel protocols that mandate the same, and states that if a person tests positive on their second PCR test in Guyana they will be confined to isolation.
The Health Minister described Guyana’s guidelines as fairly stringent but highlighted that Suriname’s is only slightly different. In addition to the PCR test they require to enter, Anthony said, that they’re also requiring persons going to Suriname from Guyana to quarantine for 14 days.
In noting the slight difference in protocols, he added that they are still trying to synchronize measures and are currently in deep discussion. Upon the conclusion of those discussions he said, it will lead to the proposed reopening of the border on December 12.
Recently, President Irfaan Ali and his delegation visited Suriname where both governments decided that they would combine efforts for a safe border reopening. A joint press statement between the two countries said that both countries acknowledged that the borders should only reopen when it is safe and that the health and safety of Suriname and Guyana’s populations should be more prioritized than reopening.
Guyana closed all of its borders on March 18 as part of the measures to curb further spread of COVID-19, following the first case being recorded on March 11. That closure saw the suspension of the Guyana-Suriname Ferry Service.
Discussions between the PPP/C government and Suriname’s government on reopening the borders and allowing the ferry service to resume, have been ongoing since August. In October, Dr. Anthony had announced that the two countries will be establishing a team to collaborate on tackling the novel coronavirus. This team, Anthony said, would be responsible for seeing to the synchronization and port health authorities from Guyana and Suriname exchanging necessary information.
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