We must reject attempts to discredit efforts of Govt

Dear Editor,
It is unfortunate that such views are held by Ms Annie Baliram regarding the efforts of the PPP/C Government in dealing with COVID-19.
Without a doubt, the PPP/C Government has continuously placed emphasis on the pandemic and the well-being of all Guyanese, from the moment it entered into office. Strategies were formulated from the inception, and rolled out across Guyana. Those strategies ranged from the provision of personal protective gear to the distribution of masks; the COVID-19 cash grant; and, more recently, vaccination of citizens.
We would all recall the many images of various PPP officials distributing masks across the length and breadth of the country during the five-month period when the APNU+AFC was busy trying to remain in office through fraud. Therefore, I cannot comprehend how Ms. Baliram arrived at the conclusion that the Government is “playing politics with our lives”. It is ridiculous, to say the least.
Baliram’s contention, that the “Government can easily access one million COVID-19 vaccines to cover the entire Guyanese population in a short space of time”, is an indication of just how out-of-touch she is on this issue. It must be noted that in terms of securing vaccines for a more extensive vaccination programme across the country, there are several complexities to be dealt with; as many countries around the world, even the developed ones, are facing challenges similar to Guyana’s in regard to securing larger quantities of the vaccines from manufacturers.
The pandemic is a global phenomenon, and the shortage of vaccines in countries around the world is because demand for such is growing every day, as the bigger, more advanced nations – many of whom paid millions in advance – hog most of the vaccines being produced. How does a small developing nation such as ours bully the US, UK, China, India and others in order to get to the front of the line?
In terms of current efforts, if one were to examine the percentage of the population of Guyana that is vaccinated against that of many countries in the developed world, taking into consideration supply and resources, Guyana is faring very well. However, there is no denying that there is a long way to go.
It is clear that the Government of Guyana is putting measures in place to ensure that citizens are taken care of as far as possible. The COVID-19 cash grant, which Ms. Baliram notes as being insufficient for Guyanese during the pandemic, is just a reflection of her personal views on the Government. In fact, the cash grant has assisted Guyanese greatly, and this is a fact, as against the mere opinions shared by Baliram in her letter.
Lastly, it cannot be overlooked that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting countries despite their size and resources. As we await the arrival of more vaccines, it is paramount that we prioritise our health and well-being, as COVID-19 is a global health crisis that can only be tackled collectively.
At the same time, it is equally paramount that we reject the attempts made by persons like Baliram – who appears to have a grouse with Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP – which are geared solely toward discrediting the efforts of the Government in dealing with the pandemic.

Yours respectfully
Erin Northe