Sep 20, 2021 Letters
Each day in Guyana, the number of recorded positive cases and deaths arising from the coronavirus gets higher and higher.
Up to last Saturday, there were 273 reported cases with 7 deaths and 32 persons in Intensive Care. It is just a matter of time before the hospitals which have limited ICU beds become inundated with cases.
Within the past 18 days, there have been a staggering 88 deaths due to the coronavirus! This is an extremely high death toll for this period.
The Ministry of Health, in its releases, emphasises the fact that almost all of these deaths are of unvaccinated persons. While that is so, they are still deaths of persons, persons who matter to others.
I do urge everyone to be vaccinated; however, since it is proven to reduce the severity of the virus and avoid the dreaded hospitalisation and death.
It is important to note that it does NOT prevent someone from contracting the virus hence the need to continue to take every precaution such as wearing masks when in public, maintaining social distancing from those out of your household and observing basic sanitising practices.
The spiralling number of these cases in Guyana is alarming and is no doubt due to the presence of the delta variant, which has been described as being as contagious as the chicken pox.
Having regard to the number of cases and resulting deaths, it is imperative that the Government put in place immediate social restrictive measures to curtail the spread of this virus. There are no such measures present currently and each day the death toll rises. It is not enough to urge vaccination and to have no measures to prevent the spread since even the vaccinated are being affected.
The unrealistic “curfew” must be replaced by a curfew starting at an early hour to prevent the gathering and mingling at the packed bars and restaurants. The creeks and entertainment places should be closed.
The Government has allowed the reopening of cinemas, which is as mind boggling as its decision to reopen schools.
Both the cinemas and schools should be closed. With regard to the latter, we have seen the cases of teachers dying in the United States, of hundreds of children being infected with the virus and schools being forced to close. While it is laudable that the Government has secured vaccines for the children over the age of 12, how can a decision to reopen for the unvaccinated children below 12 possibly be justified.
The mere fact that 17 schools had to be closed in one week due to teachers contracting the virus is in itself a cause for concern.
The Minister of Education nonchalantly dismissed this by saying, shockingly, that “every country in this world who has found a solution to get their children back into the classroom has had to deal with very similar issues.”
One cannot simply point to the fact that children need to be back in schools without being cognisant of the situation prevailing in the country at the time. This reckless decision needs to be rescinded so that we can protect our children. Guyana is the only country in the region, which has reopened for physical learning and the government has to be held accountable for their actions in so doing.
Simply put, there is absolute lawlessness with regard to any “measures” in Guyana to prevent the spread of this virus. A classic example is the recent opening of the Payless Shoe Store at the MovieTowne Mall. There was a promotion, which was so reckless at the time of this pandemic, which advertised a discount to the first 50 persons waiting in line.
This “line” turned out to be more than 50 persons crowded together without any social distancing whatsoever outside of the store.
The store continues in the same vein of recklessness and disregard of the safety of persons at this time with another advertisement urging persons to “celebrate” their opening by winning free movie tickets at MovieTowne to the first 20 persons in line on Saturday and Sunday.
This store and MovieTowne indeed should be closed as a result of such callous disregard for the safety and welfare of persons.
I urge the Guyana Government to put immediate social and business restrictions in place before the health system becomes unable to handle the number of cases of this virus.
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