I wish to take this opportunity to recognise the Government of Guyana, particularly the Ministry of Health, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Office of the President, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, and all other Ministries and Ministers for their admirable and splendid efforts in attempting to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our country.
Unfortunately, since the emergence of this awful disease, we have seen the loss of tens of thousands of lives, particularly in countries like India and Brazil, where the daily death toll is heartbreakingly staggering. Even in Guyana, our rate of infection is quite alarming, given the ratio per capita.
It is unfortunate that, despite the infection numbers rising across the globe, there are those who simply ignore it. For those of us who are mindful of the gravity of this terrible epidemic, I take this opportunity to remind those who are indifferent about this horrific disease that it has the ability to decimate mankind in the same manner that a hostile alien invader invades a body and kills the host as it travels from person to person.
When the COVID-19 virus mutates, it poses an even more serious threat. Many people are unaware that they may be asymptomatic, and therefore transmit the disease. The challenges we encounter in persuading the indifferent minds are understandable. However, if we are to put an end to this, we must instill more discipline in the people by establishing and applying tougher rules and regulations.
I believe that impromptu raids are necessary to ensure that procedures are observed.
Further, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage the Government of Guyana to appoint or consider appointing COVID-19 “enforcers/counsellors” comprising of high school students, business people, other professionals, university students, and even members of the public. These enforcers/counsellors, who volunteer their time, can be appointed to be on the lookout for those who violate the COVID-19 protocols and regulations. They can warn them, show them pictures of the stockade, and if they do not comply, then off they go to the stockade. If people in Guyana who break these rules see this as a scare, they may probably adhere to the COVID-19 protocols more. We need to create such enforcer/ counsellor teams from Berbice to Essequibo, from the West Coast of Demerara to the West Bank of Demerara; to all interior areas, etc. These enforcers/counsellors can be given an ID card and certificate appointing and recognizing them for their voluntary work in the aid of Guyana’s development and growth during this difficult time. This certificate of recognition can even be used as a form of patriotic motivation, and which can be produced in a future time to get certain benefits for their personal development.
I also wish to recommend to the Government of Guyana to accept the Antigen test upon entry to Guyana so as to facilitate travels. Antigens are widely used in the USA and other developed countries. They are even commonly accepted for Guyanese flying to the United States. It simplifies life, and is less costly.
I hope my suggestions are taken into consideration. I pray that Almighty God heals us from within! I implore all to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and follow the Government’s restrictions and protocols. We will be safe only if everyone else is safe!
Roshan Khan Snr