Kaieteur News – A minority is holding this country to ransom. The unvaccinated are jeopardising the health and well-being of vaccinated citizens.
The unvaccinated represent a minority. So far, some 318,569 persons have received first doses of the vaccine. Some of these may be children – the Ministry of Health continues with its confounded, confused and cryptic manner of presenting data.
However, 318,569 persons represent more than 40 percent of the country’s population. If you add to this, the under-18 population, which amounts to approximately 280,000 persons, the approximate vaccine resistors, at best, constitute 20 percent of the population.
This 20 percent must not jeopardise the health of the rest of the population. If they do not wish to be vaccinated, then they should comply with the regulations concerning being tested. A nation cannot be held to ransom by a minority.
This minority has been claiming a right not to be vaccinated. The Court will soon pronounce on whether such a right exists. No one, however, has yet come forward and pointed out such a right.
Another of the criticisms of the COVID-19 regulations is that the regulations are draconian, that is, the measures are too harsh. Those making this contention should explain how it is that they were not vocal about this when the APNU+AFC published far more stringent measures under the same regulations.
In April 2020, when the pandemic was in its early stages, the APNU+AFC instituted some of the draconian public health measures known to the Commonwealth Caribbean. The measures limited persons to their homes and yards except for essential workers and persons seeking essential services during non-curfew hours. The curfew was from 6:00pm to 6:00am. There were no cries then about rights.
Except for funerals and weddings, all religious places of worship were required to remain closed. Where was the chorus, which is now protesting about their rights?
Public transport vehicles were required to operate at half-load. Where were the protests then about rights?
The airports were closed except for outgoing and emergency flights. Where were the protests then about government clamping citizens’ rights to free movement?
On April 29, the government took possession of private property in order to establish what it called a sanatorium. No one protested the deprivation of private property.
Among the draconian measures published on March 16, 2020, the Minister of Health was authorised to restrain, segregate and isolate persons suffering from the COVID-19 disease. No one protested about violations of his or her human rights.
The same Regulations allowed the authorities to destroy the personal effects, goods and buildings, which were believed to be exposed to infections. No one questioned whether this was a case of overkill.
The measures allowed for the restriction of movement of persons and public and private conveyances within and to and from the infected area. This was Medieval Age legislation and no one protested as is being done now.
And guess how many confirmed cases Guyana had at the time. Only five! Yet the authorities were then prepared to take the firmest action including restricting your freedom of movement.
One woman appeared on social media in tears and on the point of an emotional breakdown. She was under institutional quarantined and she had been there with her child for more than one month. And she could not leave.
As at yesterday, Guyana had recorded more than 26,000 cases. There are presently 2,347 active cases – the highest number of active cases ever, surpassing the 2,101 recorded on May 21 this year. As at yesterday, there were 38 persons in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit, the highest number ever. The ICU is going to be soon overwhelmed unless there is a decline in severe cases.
It is in this dire scenario that the government has opted to impose stricter regulations in order to create a safe health environment. Yet, these new measures are attracting further claims of authoritarian conduct.
Well, there is an alternative. And that alternative would be to lockdown the most critical Regions – Regions Three and Four – which are accounting for more than 70 percent of recent confirmed cases. But such a measure will present severe hardships for poor people, especially workers who do not enjoy a fixed income.
The data is clear that unvaccinated people are more affected in terms of hospitalisation and deaths. The Minister of Health has said that almost 99 percent of those who are hospitalised are unvaccinated. In terms of ICU admissions, one source has revealed that in July 54 out of the 56 persons admitted to the ICU were unvaccinated; in August 87 of the 92 ICU patients were unvaccinated.
What more needs to be said? The vaccinated must be protected from the unvaccinated – the minority.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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