FITUG calls out Guyanese for lax attitude towards COVID measures

– says only way out of pandemic is inoculation

The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) has expressed concern over the rising number of COVID-19 infections and deaths being recorded in Guyana.
It added that though not confirmed, Guyana is now gripped by the Delta variant which is more virulent than previous variants and is at the root of the rising infections.
FITUG said that despite several warnings, it has observed that Guyanese continue to adopt a lax attitude when it comes to adhering to the COVID measures which are in place to protect them from the virus.
“It is disturbing that many mature individuals have taken such a relaxed approach, potentially exposing themselves and their family members to the dreaded virus. Additionally, we are concerned about the hosting and organising of gatherings which can promote the rapid spread of the virus. Given the rising spate of cases, it is prudent in our view to ensure that gatherings are kept to a minimum and appropriate restrictions be enforced to protect the health of all Guyanese,” FITUG said.
It added that the way out of the pandemic is linked to inoculation, adding that it recognises that there are many who continue to spread misinformation to the detriment of the vaccination programme. The Union body said that it is a scientific fact that vaccination reduces the risk of severe infection.
“We have learnt recently that most who have become critically ill or have succumbed either have not been vaccinated or not fully vaccinated. The FITUG again urges all Guyanese to take advantage of the Government’s vaccination programme.
“Linked to the question of vaccines has been the recent expressions regarding regulations on unvaccinated Guyanese. This is a matter that is now engaging the attention of the Judiciary. As a responsible organisation, the FITUG will refrain from offering any comment but await the decision of the courts. In the meantime, we believe, as individuals we must take every precaution to protect ourselves. We urge social distancing, regular sanitation and wearing of appropriate masks correctly. Such efforts together with vaccinations could lead us out of the pandemic and allow our lives to return to what they once were.”
In response to the rise in COVID-19 deaths and cases, the Government has mandated that any person wishing to enter a public building must be vaccinated. Any unvaccinated person who wants to enter a public building must make an appointment and present a negative PCR test.
Since the Government’s COVID-19 immunisation programme began in February this year, a total of 334,333 adults have received their first jab of a vaccine, representing 65.2 per cent of the population. On the other hand, 33.9 per cent or 173,999 persons are fully vaccinated.
Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said from these numbers, Guyana still has a long way to go to achieve herd immunity.
In the case of the Johnson and Johnson jabs, these are single-dose vaccines which are primarily being used in Regions Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Eight (Potaro-Siparuni).
Meanwhile, with regards to the children population, 21.5 per cent have received their first jab of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. This represents 18,299 persons.
To date, of the 687 persons who have died as a result of the virus, 384 are males while 303 are females. In the last week, the country registered 36 deaths – all of whom were unvaccinated. There are currently 129 persons hospitalised with the virus, 29 of whom are in the Intensive Care Unit.