AmCham Guyana calls for more stringent measures to protect against COVID-19

AmCham Guyana President Zulficar Ally

The American Chamber of Commerce Guyana (AmCham Guyana) has called for stringent measures to protect against the novel coronavirus COVID-19, as the country continues to detect cases among its populace.

On Monday the Private Sector body indicated that while persons have been isolated from schools and other public gatherings, there is still more to be done by the health authorities to ensure that there are strict travel restrictions and quarantine guidelines.

Already, countries within the region have moved to restrict travel at their borders and airports to contain the spread of COVID-19 – a deadly disease that has developed into a global epidemic.

Here in Guyana, family members of the first case of the virus reportedly refused to stay under quarantine after insisting that they did not contract the virus. A few days later, the husband of the woman tested positive and was then isolated.

The organisation sought to zero in on the increased statistics of positive cases, stating that preparedness is important in the times to come.

Moreover, Private Sector stakeholders were commended for allowing their employees to work from home or through online means. For this, communication companies have been asked to reduce the cost for data and other internet plans, to bolster connectivity at this crucial time since it is the primary source of communication.

On Saturday the Public Health Ministry informed that three other persons tested positive for the virus. This was less than one week after a woman who arrived in Guyana from New York tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and subsequently died. Her husband, child and a close relative have all tested positive for the virus.

Local health authorities have advised that if anyone is experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, they should contact the hotline on 227-4986 ext 215 or 624-3067 and a team would be sent to their location.

Meanwhile, the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) also highlighted the far reach impacts which this virus could have on the business community. As such, the Chamber also advocated for measures to address the issue on a national level.

Some of the recommendations called for educational engagements about the virus to reduce panic among the population. Adding to that, authorities should work to end myths by sharing factual information about the virus.