COVID-19: City chamber urges public not to discriminate against healthcare workers


The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), today, said it has taken note of the recent updates emanating from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) “regarding the stigma and discrimination being experienced by healthcare professionals who are on the frontlines of the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak”.

In a statement, the GCCI said officials of the GPHC have reported that healthcare workers are being refused entry into public and private transportation and have even been asked to leave supermarkets when in uniform and badge.

“The GCCI strongly condemns and discourages coronavirus-related stigma and discrimination of healthcare workers as these persons are the nation’s first line of defense against the coronavirus outbreak. Healthcare workers continue to put their lives on the line while providing an invaluable and selfless service to the nation by saving lives and helping to alleviate suffering. Healthcare workers are, essentially, the glue that holds Guyana’s response to COVID-19 together”.

The GCCI said it is important for the public to “avoid using stigmatizing language and desist from discriminatory behaviours targeted towards our healthcare professionals”. Instead, the GCCI is asking that “we honour and thank these persons for doing lifesaving work while putting themselves at great personal risk”.

“Additionally, the GCCI urges the public to educate themselves on COVID-19 using credible sources such as the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) in order to stop stigma and the spread of misinformation related to the coronavirus”, the statement added.