The PRESIDENT, Dr. Irfaan Ali, on Wednesday, released a special broadcast message trying to remind Guyanese that the COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious national issue and a major global health concern. “I encourage you to continue to follow the guidelines, I urge you to remain safe; I urge you to continue to protect your families and communities by adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, ”the President appealed. Through a short video, Dr. reminded Ali the nation “We are not ahead. We are still managing this deadly pandemic. We need all stakeholders, we need all Guyanese, ”President Ali stressed. He further explained that while the government has tried to strike the balance between the economy and the health management of the COVID-19 pandemic, Guyanese needs to be responsible. The Head of State’s plea comes on the heels of some 140 people arrested over the Easter weekend for violating COVID-19 protocols. Those arrested are reported to have been found in various bars and entertainment venues later than the 22: 30hrs (10:30 PM) national curfew time set up to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
This newspaper was reliably informed that about 23 people were arrested for breaking the curfew at the Sleep-In Hotel, located on Church Street, Georgetown, on Good Friday. On Saturday, it was reported that 20 people had been arrested for the same crime at the Altitude bar on Sandy Babb Street, Kitty, Georgetown, alongside 31 additional people at the Kairos on Charlotte Street, Georgetown. In addition, ranks from the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defense Force (GDF) found large numbers of customers at the Hommee Hospitality Hotel and Bar on Sunday morning. These individuals were collected in violation of COVID-19 regulations, and at the establishment after the curfew period. As a result, 26 people were arrested and placed on cash bail pending their court appearance. Further, during a ‘Covicurb’ exercise held on the east bank of Demerara (EBD) Saturday night into Sunday morning, 40 people were reported arrested for similar breaches at the Boat House Bar in Supply, EBD. It is important to note that while the national curfew is between 22:30 and 04:00 hours, COVID-19 emergency measures indicate that businesses should close by 21:30 hours. Even before the holiday weekend, President Ali had urged Guyanese to abide by the guidelines, as the country was still experiencing a deadly pandemic.