Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has assured that workers on the frontline in the fight against the potentially deadly COVID-19 pandemic will receive “appropriate recognition” for their efforts in the upcoming emergency budget.
The Vice President was at the time providing an update to the nation on the efforts being made by the PPP/C administration to acquire the enormous amount of resources needed to mount an appropriate response to the virus.
According to Jagdeo, when the new government assumed political office, it found “shocking details” of the previous administrations mismanagement in relation to the country’s response to the pandemic.
“Frankly speaking, it was shocking about the state, disorganisation and the lack of a clear strategy to address an existential issue for Guyana.”
“There was no appropriate structure apart from the procurement and material deficit, there wasn’t the appropriate structure to address the pandemic,” Jagdeo detailed.
“We found that a lot of the people in the frontline, the sad story from the doctors and the nurses, they are dealing with this pandemic and they are in the frontline, but they feel that they are not adequately equipped with PPEs nor are they adequately rewarded.”
“I want to assure them that the President (Irfaan Ali) has indicated that in the next budget, there will be an appropriate recognition of their work,” Jagdeo assured.
Jagdeo said that the government has been actively mobilising resources at all levels to respond adequately to the virus, which he said would take millions of US dollars.
He said that efforts are being made to engage the international community to acquire the needed resources.
“They (Government) are reforming, based on the President’s instruction, the organization, with a very few people at the policy level but giving broad policy direction.”
He explained that the Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony are working along with the international organisations and are putting in place a technical structure to deal with both the medial response as well as the socio economic response.
“So the efforts at the ministry has been enormous in terms of getting more materials. More capability to test as well as the testing kits,” Jagdeo added.
President Ali had announced during his inauguration speech that the government is in the process of securing a whopping $4.5B for COVID-19 emergency response at the household level.