Some 500 soldiers to be deployed to reinforce COVID-19 safety protocols

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The Government is embarking on a massive education campaign dubbed ‘Operation CoviCurb’ to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Brigadier Mark Phillips made this announcement at a press briefing hosted by the COVID-19 Task Force on Thursday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

“We want to focus on education, moral suasion, communicating aggressively throughout the length and breadth of Guyana and finally to use enforcement measures,” Prime Minister Phillips said.

The operation is set to be ramped-up significantly over the next 72 hours, as measures are put in place to reinforce strict adherence to the COVID-19 preventative protocols.

The Prime Minister also announced that members of the joint services and volunteers will be involved in the operation.

“We envisaged that within the next seven days, we will have over 5,000 persons operating in a multisectoral, inter-agency setting, working throughout Guyana to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Prime Minister Phillips said.

The education campaign will feature conversations on mainstream media and the distribution of flyers.  A hotline will also be established to receive reports of persons flouting the emergency measures.

The Prime Minister appealed to the media to join the efforts of the COVID-19 Task Force in its education and enforcement campaign.

Meanwhile, concerning the Guyana Defence Force’s involvement, Chief of Staff, Brigadier Godfrey Bess, said troops would be deployed to assist in Operation CoviCurb.

“The GDF will deploy no less than 500 troops alongside relevant stakeholders and partners and we will interface with citizens, utilising a soft, cogent approach,” he said.

This effort by the GDF is to ensure masks are worn properly in public, social distancing is practised, and citizens comply with social restrictions and the curfew.

“We will also continue to improve the security of the unofficial entries into Guyana at our borders,” Brigadier Bess said.

Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie said the Guyana Police Force will continue with its public education campaign and intensify its enforcement of the COVID-19 emergency measures.