Pay for COVID-19 treatment if you refuse vaccines

Dear Editor,
COVID-19 is a travesty to Guyana and the world! I would think that every human being on the earth has had some relative, friend or associate who has suffered prolonged pains, injuries and death from this disease.
COVID-19 has been one of the worst harbingers of death and destruction in families, nations and national economies. It has even caused the pauperisation of families by deaths of breadwinners. Even if recovered, those would never be normal again. The psychological trauma that is left on families: the pains, the depression and other psychological and mental illnesses that result due to sufferings and death, cannot be measured.
In Guyana and the world, we owe a special salute, appreciation and prayers for the medical doctors, nurses and staff that keep looking out for the infected. I have seen several cases of my own relatives who contracted the disease and died.
When I visit simple places in Guyana, like the Mon Repos market, I speak to people about wearing their masks. Usually the vendors, especially the fish vendors. They make all kinds of ludicrous excuses, including saying it is a manmade thing. Then I would tell them if it is a manmade thing or not, it still kills! Therefore, you need to protect yourself! Many are proudly proclaiming that they will not take the vaccine, nor wear a mask.
I know of cases where many contracted COVID-19 and wished that they had taken the vaccine or worn a mask. They wished that they had been more proactive in protecting themselves by following the COVID-19 precautionary protocols. Being too late, many suffered. Many have died. Many prayed for a chance to live, and even started to encourage others to protect themselves while they were dying.
I call upon the Guyanese people to get vaccinated! I call upon the Government to create small infomercials showing the pains and sufferings of those infected, and of families who lost loved ones, particularly the breadwinner; small infomercials with heavy drama. I appeal to fellow citizens to use free Facebook posts and expressions in Instagram and others to highlight the pain and sufferings of people.
It is my opinion that if you refuse to take the vaccine, the tax payers’ dollars should not be used to finance your treatment if you become infected with COVID-19. I know that budgeted medical allocations set by Parliament have been increased to accommodate this disastrous disease that is creating havoc in our country.
We are nearing the one thousand mark. A thousand people with our population gives us one of the highest in deaths and infections when compared internationally. Thank God for a good Government that is truly conscientious, and is working with all stakeholders to bring relief financially and makes every means possible to the people of this country.
When I expressed to people that they need to pay for their own medical treatment if they refuse to take the vaccine, I got some good ‘cuss-down’. With that in mind, I was quite elated to learn that the Singapore Government, which has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world – their vaccination exceeds 80% – foreign workers have to contribute in Singapore to a special savings account which will look out to help the migrant workers in the event of their contracting COVID-19 or serious illnesses, and also for COVID-19 treatment and deaths.
However, the Singapore Government has now also established laws by which citizens who refuse to take the vaccine will have to finance their own medical attention. This is something I, as a citizen of Guyana, believe in. It is unfair for the tax dollars to be used to treat the recalcitrant. The Government is doing the right thing by providing the best of service and vaccines to its citizens, so it is wrong for tax payers’ dollars to pay for those who blatantly refuse to take the vaccines, except for those who might be medically ill otherwise and should not take the vaccine.
Coming back to the point that I am raising here, I wish to call on the Government of Guyana to send out releases and warnings by giving a one-month moratorium to all those who have not taken the vaccines: the Government of Guyana cannot afford to finance them any longer, even though they might be admitted to the Government or COVID-19 hospital. They, along with their families, will be billed, and action can be taken to recover the payments if they do not pay. As a matter of fact, private hospitals function in such a manner that if one is released and cannot pay the bill, he/she cannot leave the hospital. This is the system that will be needed by Government. Further, relatives should sign guarantees for those who are affected after having been warned that infected patients will have to pay for any and all COVID-19 treatment.
All I want is safety for those who are refusing the vaccine, and for our country and the Government to be in a good financial state. It is unfair for those who do not have their personal medical insurance, even wealth, to refuse to take the vaccine, then put the country in economic situation that could break us.

Roshan Khan (Snr)