Last Updated on Thursday, 12 August 2021, 9:20 by Denis Chabrol
A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) parliamentarian, Jermaine Figueira on Thursday said he and Pastor Nigel London convinced protesters to clear the Mackenzie-Wismar bridge after Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony opened the door to talks about the vaccination process.
Dr. Anthony announced late Wednesday night that health care workers and public transportation workers would be given until August 25 to get vaccinated. Mr. Figueira said if the government back-pedals on that position while efforts are made to resolve the issue, the protesters would return to the thoroughfare across the Demerara river bridge. “They will, if the government changes anything they believe infringes on their rights, they are prepared to go back out there,” Mr. Figueira told News-Talk Radio Guyana/ Demerara Waves Online News.
The APNU+AFC Region 10 parliamentarian said not all the demands were met, but the Health Minister’s announcement now paves the way for stakeholders in Linden to meet internally from Thursday morning to discuss their negotiating strategy with the government. “They didn’t get everything that they wanted but, at least, based on the notice they were informed that they have secured a relax of this mandatory position by the government; the unvaccinated nurses, the doctors will be allowed to go back to work as well as the transportation service providers,” he said.
Mr. Figueira said stakeholders were scheduled to Thursday hold closed-door discussions to strategise for a consultations with the administration.
Elsewhere, protesters have been calling on government to provide more information about the vaccines to assist Guyanese to make up their minds to take the jab against the coronavirus that has claimed more than 500 lives so far.
Anti-vaccination protesters blocked access across the bridge on Wednesday to express their outrage at the decision by the Linden Hospital Complex administration to prevent health care workers from entering the facility unless they are fully vaccinated.
The July 29, 2021 COVID-19 measures require government workers to take one of the COVID-19 vaccines or take a PCR test at their own expense every two weeks to prove that they are COVID-free. Public transportation operators, according to the measures, are also required to be vaccinated before they can be allowed to work.