Guyana Cautions COVID-19 Safety Even as Pandemic Protocols are Relaxed

GEORGETOWN, Guyana –Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony Monday urged Guyanese to take responsibility for their health even as Guyana continue to relax some of the measures that have been in place for the past two years to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

PHAwayPhagway celebrations in Guyana last Friday. (Photo courtesy of Guyana Times)In addition, Dr. Anthony, speaking at the daily COVID-19 update, told reporters that businesses can still enforce certain rules such as mask wearing or handwashing as a means of further protection against the spread of the virus.

“Working places, business entities, different spaces, can also decide whether they want certain rules in place and work with those because as you can see, we still have active cases in Guyana…and those persons can very easily infect others so we still have to be cautious because not everybody has been vaccinated and so not everybody can be protected.”

Dr. Anthony said that Guyana was still recording cases of the virus and that there are now 140 people currently infected with the diseases, with 14 of them hospitalized.

“The guidelines have been dropped, but people do have more independence in determining what they do. It’s up to you, whether you want to wear a mask or not, you have to look at the risk and decide whether you want to take precautions,” Dr. Anthony added.

On March 14, the government announced the removal of majority of the restrictions including the lifting of the national curfew and the removal of the mandatory mask-wearing policy, but the authorities have noted that there are still thousands of people yet to take any COVID-19 vaccine, or complete the required dosage of the vaccines.

Dr. Anthony emphasized that people should remain cautious, warning that once infected, unvaccinated people are more likely to experience the severe or life-threatening symptoms.

Over the last weekend, Guyana celebrated Phagwah with men, women and children participating in dances and other cultural programs.

Dr. Anthony did not respond to questions about a possible surge in COVID-19 cases as a result of the weekend activities, but pleaded with people to exercise individual responsibility.

“People now have more independence in terms of determining what they do…it’s up to you whether you wanna wear a mask or not…you have to look at your risk and you have to decide whether you want to take precautions. So, there is an individual responsibility,” he said.

Health authorities said that a total of 437,152 adults have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccines; while 334, 899 adults took their second doses.

Dr. Anthony said booster doses remain relatively low with an estimated 56,174 people having taken their booster shots.