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President Ali considers ending COVID curfew by Friday

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 February 2022, 22:41 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali

President Irfaan Ali late Thursday signaled the end of the COVID-19 curfew, a virus-control mechanism that has been mostly violated by businesses or seldom enforced by police.

Addressing the launch of the latest edition of ‘Guyana Explore’ magazine, he said that government was seriously considering lifting the curfew that has been instituted since Marc, 2020 when Guyana had recorded its first COVID-19 death.

Dr. Ali said he asked the Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force, Prime Minister Mark Phillips to examine the possibility of lifting the curfew by Friday. “I asked him to review with the stakeholder group our present curfew with an aim at removing the curfew as early as tomorrow (Friday) because it’s an evolution dealing with the pandemic , ” he said.

Official figures from the Health Ministry show that there are now 3,127 active cases, with 3,038 ordered to isolate themselves at home to stop spreading the virus.  Of the 89 persons, who are hospitalised, 18 are very sick and are receiving intensive care.  Within the past 24 hours, 160 new cases have been recorded.

The  President said that, given the stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was need to tighten the protocols such as handwashing/ hand sanitisation,  public education getting vaccination. “For sure, we cannot continue with a prolonged curfew and it’s my hope and intention that that curfew can be removed once the necessary steps are foll9wed by as early as tomorrow (Friday),” he said.

The announcement comes just days before the Guyana Energy Conference scheduled for February 15 and the upcoming Mashramani Day to mark Guyana’s Republican status. Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson had last week ruled out the costume and float parade this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.