Private Sector struggles with reduced workforces as more people test positive for Covid – PSC Chair

PSC Chairman Paul Cheong

The Omicron variant has been ravaging the private sector, with many companies struggling with reduced workforces as a result of the quarantine/isolation protocols following potential exposure to the life-threatening virus.

Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman Paul Cheong said when persons contract the virus, they are unable to go to work and this affects the operations of many firms.

“Many small businesses would soon have to close their doors because they don’t have sufficient people to work. I know some services had to cut some of their business line, because they didn’t have sufficient people to work on all the lines and it’s right across,” Cheong said.

As such, he is urging persons to take the virus very seriously and adhere to the established protocols, get vaccinated and take booster shots.

“Covid is something very serious and it’s life threatening and we have seen that we have been with Covid for more than two years now, and we have seen that we know how it’s operating, and we know the effects it’s having on lives. So, I want to use this opportunity to encourage every single person who have not been vaccinated, to get vaccinated.”

He reminded that the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, and therefore all protective measures need to be taken.

“We don’t want to lose our employees that we have trained, and the service, the quality of service when you have two or three persons have to do ten persons’ job, it is a lot of pressure on those persons, so it’s affecting everyone, those who contract it, and those who didn’t,” Cheong said.

“We are looking at this in a short-term process…I think what happened here opened a lot of people’s eyes because, I think we get complacent, we took things for granted and so this is everybody’s business, it’s not one individual, it’s not Ministry of Health alone this is every single Guyanese need to pull their weight in terms of protecting themselves and doing their part,” he continued.

Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony said Wednesday that proper ventilation, screening of employees entering the office, and ensuring persons are vaccinated or have taken the booster shots are ways offices could help to keep the virus at bay.

“People, because they are familiar with each other in the workplace, they tend to remove their mask, so they are not wearing mask in the workplace, and therefore they can get infected because they don’t know where their co-worker may have been and whether that co-worker would have been exposed,” Dr. Anthony said.

The impact on the Covid-19 infection rate has also had a significant effect on public sector employees. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]