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COVID-19: Police to crackdown on public gatherings

The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) on Thursday announced that police would soon crack down on public gatherings as authorities suggested that their patience was being tested by people who are not heeding calls to take steps to stop spreading the Coronavirus.

“The Guyana Police Force will shortly commence a campaign to advise persons against gathering in public spaces and to discourage persons who are found to be doing so,” the Task Force said in a statement.

The Task Force urged persons to ‘decluster’ in public spaces, to zealously practice social distancing and to refrain from socialising. “Guyanese are advised to spend as little time in public as is possible and to only leave their homes when absolutely necessary,” the Task Force added.

Already, authorities in Region 10 have decided to impose a 6pm to 6am curfew from Saturday, March 28, 2020, in all populated areas and they have threatened to detain people who are seen in the public.

The COVID-19 Task Force on Thursday also called on Guyanese especially those in Corentyne, not to use the back-track route to travel to and from neighbouring Suriname.

The Task Force said if they are caught shuttling passengers to and from Suriname across the Corentyne River, their vessels would be seized and there was no guarantee of diplomatic representation. “Persons deported to Guyana as a result will also be subject to the Ministry of Public Health’s mandatory quarantine protocols. Neither the NCTF nor the Government of Guyana can commit to making diplomatic or other representation on their behalf for the return of their vessels and/or engines,” the Task Force stated.

In a clear sign of growing impatience with those who are not heeding the public health advisories, the National Coronavirus Task Force said authorities remained “deeply concerned about the large number of persons who continue to ignore the advisories.”

The NCTF commended those who have been heeding the public health advisories and have been practicing social distancing and good hygienic practices, and pleaded with all Guyanese to play their part in ensuring that they take the recommended actions in help curb the spread of COVID-19.