Home News National curfew to end 1 day after elections result declaration
The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) has taken a decision to extend the emergency measures and curfew to June 17 – exactly one day after the touted date for a declaration of Guyana’s elections result.
This announcement was made on Tuesday, after the measures were scheduled to be lifted today – June 3.
However, the announcement has been met with much suspicion as questions arise about the motive of ending the curfew one day after the declaration. According to several political commentators, such a short extension demonstrates that there will be no directives preventing persons from protesting or gathering in large masses in nonacceptance of the outcome. Setting precedents, Guyana’s post-elections period has always been followed by some form of objection, raising questions as to what systems will be in place at that time to safeguard against COVID-19 threats. Some 153 persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Guyana.
As of now, the 18:00h to 06:00h curfew will remain in place one day after the date flouted for an official declaration.
Last week, caretaker President David Granger was quoted saying that the measures will remain until the local crisis is brought under control. Prior to this, the caretaker Administration had also received cautions from the Pan American Health Organisation about a premature relaxation of the curfew and partial lockdown.
Country Representative of the PAHO, Dr William Adu-Krow had signalled a reduction in positive cases if the country extends the emergency measures and works to implement a phased reopening.
According to the PAHO/WHO Representative, the curfew and restrictions can only be lifted if certain criteria are met. These include: transmission is controlled; systems are in place to detect, test, isolate and treat every case; outbreak risks in health settings are minimalised; preventative measures are implemented in social settings, such as schools and workplaces; importation risks can be managed; and communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the “new norm”.
From its initial composition, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo had said that Task Force is political. After several questionable decisions by the Task Force, the Opposition Leader pointed out that it is unfortunate that the Task Force appears only interested in enforcing COVID-19 measures conveniently and for political purposes.
After much speculation, Chief Executive Officer of the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF), Joseph Harmon last week clarified that there will be no complete lockdown of the country.