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No total lockdown- Harmon

Chief Executive Officer of the National COVID-19 Task Force, Joseph Harmon on Saturday ruled out a total lockdown across Guyana, even as the number of infected persons and deaths continue to rise.

“I want to make this clear that the National Corona Task Force has not considered a national lockdown,” he said in a statement on the government-controlled National Communications Network (NCN). Based on the video presentation, Harmon did not entertain any questions.

Harmon observed that rumours of a lockdown have been “forcing people” into panic-buying and creating unnecessary crowds in markets and other shopping areas.

The Chief Executive Officer said the Task Force  was considering extending existing measures and “this has nothing to do with a complete lockdown.” He appealed to Guyanese guidelines such as social distancing, hand-washing and wearing of masks in public.

His assurance that there would be no lockdown came less than three hours after the Ministry of Public Health said Guyana on Saturday recorded its 12th coronavirus death. Dead is 87 year old Daymon John of the Palms Geriatric Home.  Of the 150 positive cases so far, 72 persons are in institutional isolation and one is an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Sixty-seven others have recovered since the outbreak in Guyana in March.

In the capital, most non-essential businesses such as clothing stores remained closed while many others opened their doors partly to close quickly should police arrive to order their closure.