Minister urges ‘understanding’ of measures against unvaccinated employees

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Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony

Noting that the mutations of the novel coronavirus are posing an even greater danger to the public, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony today urged the public to understand the reason why private employers are taking certain measures being against unvaccinated workers.

In recent times, several local private sector companies have mandated that their unvaccinated workers present negative PCR Covid-19 tests regularly.

In most cases, the costs for these tests are to be borne by the employees.

The latest company to implement this measure is the Giftland Mall whereby unvaccinated workers are expected to submit their tests weekly.

Asked to comment on this development, the Health Minister pointed out that many places around the globe are already doing this.

He pointed to some States in the United States of America as well as France where vaccination has now become mandatory.

“So, more and more countries now are going in this direction because they recognize that unless the population is fully vaccinated, we are going to have challenges with people getting sick, people dying and in many instances, it can overwhelm the health system,” he explained.

“Here, a lot of the private sector entities would want to make their work environment safe and they are taking those precautions. So they are giving their employees the option, either you go get the vaccine or you have to be tested on a regular basis for them to verify that the person is not infected with Covid…you gotto understand that that’s one way of encouraging a safe environment,” Dr Anthony added.

According to the Health Minister, the various Covid variants are resulting in more hospitalisations and deaths – and the only proven way to minimize those chances is to get vaccinated.

“For those who are unvaccinated, you have a challenge where you’re seeing more cases of hospitalisations and deaths…Because of that, countries now are taking a very serious position,” he stressed.

To date, a total of 248,970 persons or 51.1% of the population in Guyana have received the first dose of a vaccine. Meanwhile, 133,987 or 27.5% are fully inoculated.