STATEMENT BY THE MAYOR OF GEORGETOWN, PANDIT UBRAJ NARINE
As of Monday, 30 March 2020, I have come under tremendous criticism after I informed the media that I do not have the authority to “lockdown” the city and place it under a curfew. Many have taken to social media to voice their disapproval of this position, as is their right.
I’ve also noticed in some sections of the media and social media, it was said that the “Mayor of Georgetown refuses to lockdown the City”. I wish to correct this misconception, the fact is I have assessed the situation and I think it is prudent to consult with the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Communities, the Ministry of Public Security, the Private Sector Commission and the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce and Industry before making a decision.
With Georgetown being the capital city and the main economic hub for the country, a number of measures need to be implemented before a lockdown/curfew is enforced. Such measures can, and will in most instances, disrupt aspects of our way of life. In light of this, it goes without saying that the Council must seek advice and guidance before the capital city is brought under a lockdown/curfew. At this time, we are still consulting the relevant stakeholders to bring this process to an end.
We can all agree that limiting the movement of persons is necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is with this in mind that the Council must take the necessary precautions to enforce a lockdown/curfew and to enforce penalties, where measures implemented, are breached.
In this regard, it is my hope that you understand that any uninformed or ill-informed measure taken by me, to place the capital city under a lockdown/curfew can result in high levels of anxiety and psychological distress for the Guyanese people.
We can defeat this virus by working together and adhering to the plethora of Government advisories to fight the spread of this invisible enemy (COVID-19). Blaming each other will only serve to undermine our efforts.
I am working towards the safety of our beloved capital city and in the interest of all its residents and by extension, all Guyanese.