Cops called in to ensure ‘Social Distancing’ compliance

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As Guyana continues to confront the coronavirus pandemic, efforts are now being put in place to utilise ranks of the Police Force in order to enforce social distance compliance, a decision taken by the National COVID-19 ministerial Task Force (NCTF).

The NCTF met on Thursday last and subsequently urged ‘declustering’ in public spaces, and “to zealously practice social distancing and to refrain from socialising…Guyanese are advised to spend as little time in public as is possible and to only leave their homes when absolutely necessary.”

NCTF additionally announced that “the Guyana Police Force will shortly commence a campaign to advise persons against gathering in public spaces and to discourage persons who are found to be doing so.”

The ministerial Task Force, in a statement at the end of the week, said it “remains deeply concerned about the large number of persons who continue to ignore the advisories…The NCTF pleads with all Guyanese to play their part in ensuring that they take the recommended actions in helping to curb the spread of COVID-19.”

The ministerial body used the occasion to also warn Guyanese, particularly those in the Corentyne, not to enter Suriname illegally by boat.

“Those who do so may be subject to seizure of their vessel and engine, arrest and deportation.”

It was noted that persons deported to Guyana, as a result, will also be subject to the Ministry of Public Health’s mandatory quarantine protocols.

Additionally, the Task Force iterated that neither it nor the Government of Guyana can commit to making diplomatic or other representation on their behalf for the return of their vessels and/or engines.

Guyana’s first imported case died at the Georgetown Public Hospital after travelling to Guyana from New York. A short period after, four of her family members including a teen relative have tested positive. They were all quarantined at a state facility.

Since then, health authorities have prepared four facilities, which can accommodate some 350 persons. All ten administrative regions also have the capacity to cater for an additional 134 persons.