Presdient Irfaan Ali

Guyanese 40 and over to be vaccinated against COVID-19

According to a press release by the Office of the President, the Government of Guyana is aiming to vaccinate 10,000 citizens per day. Guyanese 40-and-over will be eligible by next week.

Please see press release below:

 The Government of Guyana will be aiming to vaccinate as many as 10,000 persons per day through an integrated approach that will encompass all sections of society, President Irfaan Ali announced earlier this evening.

During a live broadcast, the Head of State said that since March 5, more than 25,000 Guyanese have been vaccinated.

He added that other than donations made by India and China, the Government is now procuring vaccines from various sources.

The President noted that since January of this year, the Government has approached the governments of India, Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates as well as manufacturers and agencies including the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, COVAX, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna.

“Notwithstanding the above, the Government of Guyana is aggressively pursuing a strategy to vaccinate as many Guyanese as would be necessary to attain herd immunity and eventually ensuring all Guyanese are vaccinated. Our goal is to vaccinate as many as 10,000 citizens per day.”

To achieve this, the Government is embarking on an integrative approach that will include cabinet, local government bodies, civil society, medical and nursing students and the medical brigade of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).

President Ali said 400 officers of the GDF, along with other trained personnel will assist in the documentation of citizens in order to expedite the vaccination process.

40-YEARS-AND-OVER

While the current vaccination drive focuses on healthcare workers and citizens 60-years-and-older, President Ali announced that next week the vaccination programme will be expanded to all persons 40-years-and-over.

“All volunteers will also be vaccinated to limit their exposure to the COVID-19 virus.”

AGGRESSIVE APPROACH TO PROCUREMENT

Additionally, to aggressively expand the vaccination programme, the Government has procured 200,000 doses of vaccines and is currently exploring the further procurement of another 200,000 doses.

The aggressive programme is aimed at achieving herd immunity “in the fastest possible timeframe”.

INCREASED ENFORCEMENT AND JOINT OPERATION

To complement the programme, the Head of State explained that the National COVID-19 Task Force will have an expanded joint operation that will feature cooperation between Immigration, the GDF, the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Regional COVID-19 Task Force committees, the private sector and other members of civil society with an aim of further securing the borders.

CURTAILED CELEBRATIONS

The President is also urging religious leaders and citizens to adhere to the approved COVID-19 guidelines for the religious and cultural events ahead, including Phagwah, Easter and Ramadan.

“The pandemic remains a serious national issue, a major global health concern. I urge you to continue to follow the guidelines, I urge you to continue to stay safe, I urge you to continue to protect your families and your communities by adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines. We are not ahead of the curve, we are still managing this deadly pandemic. We need all stakeholders, we need all Guyanese on board. Whilst we have sought to strike the balance between the economy and the health management of the COVID-19 pandemic we have to be responsible.”

BUSINESS NEED TO DO MORE

The Head of State stressed that businesses must understand that it is critical for them to adhere to the 40% occupancy, to the protocols that customers should follow whilst using their establishment and to ensure that they protect their fellow Guyanese.

President Ali also stressed that advice has been given to the Task Force to pursue charges against owners of establishments that are found in breach of the guidelines.

“We have lost too many lives already.  The Government is sparing no efforts in ensuring that we get vaccinated as quickly as possible but we too, all of us, have a responsibility to help in this process. I urge you to take seriously the guidelines of the COVID-19 Task Force, as together we rally to ensure we get out of this pandemic as quickly as possible. Continue to stay safe and may God bless all of you.”