Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has accentuated on the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic in Guyana, while noting that sections of the public sector are at greater risk amid non-existent measures for their safety.
In Guyana, 24 persons have already tested positive for the deadly virus, with four reported deaths.
During a press conference on Friday, Jagdeo indicated that efforts should be strengthened to prevent the situation from worsening. Thus far, the People’s Progressive Party has set up a Multi Stakeholders Forum to alleviate the situation through volunteerism.
“This pandemic is a serious one and our country is at risk. Many of our people are at risk and we have to do all that it takes to ensure that we come out of this with the minimal number of infections, people being healthy and strong, and being able to return to a productive life,” he stressed.
Nevertheless, Jagdeo added that they will continue to support the national effort but called out the incumbent coalition for their approach to the pandemic.
“We want to be helpful of the national effort but you have a total lack of leadership by those who purport to call themselves Ministers and by the Government generally, from the President especially on this matter,” Jagdeo said.
He commented on the ‘differential treatment’ meted out to sections of the public sector, which could prove dangerous to their health.
He added that workers along the sugar belt have been venturing out of their homes and entering the transport trucks, where they are subjected to sitting in close proximity to each other.
“We have seen a differential treatment in the public sector where there are strong measures taken in some areas to send people home and in other areas of public sector, people are still working, cramped together,” the Opposition Leader shared.
He added, “I was told that in the sugar belt, that many of the sugar workers are going to work in the same trucks in close proximity with each other, no masks, no public education, nothing of the sort which could put them at risk. Serious risk for contracting the virus.”
There is also a lack of protective supplies for law enforcement agents while persons from the medical fraternity have been faced with discrimination while travelling in public transportation. By now, he noted, transport mechanisms should have been employed for these essential employees.
“Our country is practically at a standstill, largely because of two issues – the COVID-19 issue and the unresolved matters surrounding elections. Both matters require very, very urgent attention because they put at risk our way of life as Guyanese.”