Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 9:02 by Denis Chabrol
President Irfaan Ali and Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon- as Guyana celebrates its 55th independence anniversary- have urged people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus that has killed more than 360 persons so far.
“We of the APNU+AFC coalition are redoubling our efforts and encouraging others to join our national push for increased vaccinations as we cannot afford to lose another citizen in this country,” Mr. Harmon said in an Independence Day message.
He thanked all healthcare workers who have been at the forefront as “national heroes” to save lives as well as members of the task forces, disciplinary services and transportation providers.
The governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had in recent weeks been accusing Harmon’s coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) of discouraging Guyanese mainly in its stronghold Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) from taking the jabs.
In his address at an Independence eve flag-raising ceremony outside the Umana Yana, the President said there is historical evidence that vaccination has saved lives from several diseases over the years. With some degree of hesitancy against taking the COVID-19 jab, the President sounded a stirring appeal for Guyanese to get vaccinated. “My brothers and sisters, please, let us get vaccinated. Let us take each other and get vaccinated so that we can return to normalcy as fast as possible,” he said.
President Ali said 20 percent of Guyanese having been already vaccinated is a “significant accomplishment” but he said even more Guyanese need to get the jab. “Our objective is to ensure that we can inoculate everyone from this dreaded virus. The length of this battle depends on how soon each of us is fully vaccinated, liberating ourselves to return to a higher level of normal life and protecting others from infection,” he added.
There are 1,905 active cases that the ministry is monitoring; 19 of the 103 hospitalised persons are receiving intensive care. The Health Ministry says 1,783 persons are currently isolated at home. Dating back to last year March, of the 16,320, more than 14,000 have recovered.