Govt securing US$60M to up fight against COVID-19 pandemic 

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President Dr Irfaan Ali

As the new Government increases its efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, President Irfaan Ali has announced that his administration is in the process of securing US$60M to fund various aspects of its response to the virus.

According to President Ali, the funds are being sourced from various international development partners including the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Islamic Development Bank.

President Ali, during a special address on Wednesday to update the nation on Government’s effort thus far, disclosed that this sum is in addition to the US$2M grant received from the Indian Government and other forms of support from bilateral partners.

The Head of State noted that since taking office, his Government has brought together all the stakeholders to address the COVID-19 pandemic in a holistic manner.

He announced a range a measures to bring relief to families and businesses, noting that his administration is focused on delivering an all-encompassing plan which would also take the health and safety of all citizens very seriously.

He said the Government is not only looking at health aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also “measures to recreate jobs, ensure income goes back to the people, improve spending in the economy, whilst at the same time securing our population with the implementation of good health scenarios.”

“Your government is not unaware of the difficulties you are facing,” he told citizens.

“I assure you that your concerns will be dealt with, that the concerns of the businesses community, parents, teachers, health care personnel…we will find the balance in addressing this issue,” he declared.

He asserted that the objective of the Government’s approach is “to ensure a multifaceted aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic is addressed by delivering relief to a strained health system and workers, increasing testing throughout Guyana, delivering relief measures and delivering education to our children”.

The President also disclosed that the health authorities will soon cut testing time from nine hours to two hours and will address the backlog of samples to be tested.

He also announced that by next week, 29 ventilators will arrive in the country.

President Ali further stated that the inoperable infectious disease center at Ocean View will be converted into an isolation facility to house COVID-19 patients.