Link more COVID cash grants to being vaccinated

Last Updated on Friday, 30 April 2021, 15:01 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana government should provide another round of COVID-19 cash grants to Guyanese and link the payout to being fully vaccinated, Alliance For Change (AFC) Leader Khemraj Ramjattan.

He told a news conference that his suggestion would be a good method to deal with vaccine hesitancy. “if you got vaccination hesitation right now, pay monies to those areas that you know the $25,000 that you will give again, you have to take the jab before you get the next $25,000,” he said.

Mr. Ramjattan said that approach would be good especially for the Amerindian communities.

Mr. Ramjattan said some of the almost US$300 million from the National Resources Fund could be used to draw down cash from the account in the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

Education Minister, Priya Manickchand has already ruled out the reopening of schools in May, 2020 because of increased COVID-19 cases and deaths as well as the slow pace of vaccination.

Alleging corruption and discrimination in the distribution of COVID-19 cash grant, Mr. Ramjattan called for the Auditor General to conduct a thorough probe.  The AFC Leader said there should be a digital database should be made public showing the names of the recipients and others with ‘pink-slips.’

AFC Executive Member, Cathy Hughes also urged that a toll-free number or Internet-based facility be put in place for Guyanese to check and request payments.