COVID-19: Large gatherings at horse racing, cockfighting events in Berbice

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The crowd at the Port Mourant Turf Club on Sunday

Guyanese continue to gather in large crowds at horse racing and cockfighting events in Berbice despite the national ban on such social gatherings in light of COVID-19.

These events are usually held on Sundays at the Port Mourant Race Track and they attract volumes of people.

When this publication visited the scene on Sunday, scores of persons had converged.

It was observed that a police patrol vehicle entered the arena. The officers were seen exiting the vehicle after it came to a halt. Soon after they were observed re-entering the vehicle along with a civilian.

A police patrol vehicle seen entering the arena

After talking for a while, the civilian exited and the vehicle drove off the scene. In light of this development, a senior police rank in the Region was contacted and promised to address the issue.

A Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Councillor with responsibility for the constituency, Orin McDougall explained that he is concerned about the illegal activities.

McDougall noted that residents have made numerous complaints to him about this issue and although he would have reported the situation to the higher authorities, nothing has been done.

“There is frequent activity and a lot of strange people are seen flocking the facility because of the activities going on there,” said McDougall, who has a clear view of the facility from his backyard.

The COVID-19 emergency guidelines prohibits, among other things, large public gatherings. Guyana has recorded over 250 positive COVID-19 cases to date, including 15 deaths.