– proposal submitted to garner input and support from all political players
The motion of the ‘Global Pandemic of COVID-19’ was presented to the National Assembly on Wednesday, aiming to gather pragmatic input and support from all political players as needed to combat the deadly coronavirus.
“What started as a public health problem, has quickly transformed into an economic crisis,” lamented Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, in tabling the motion at the National Assembly’s sitting on Wednesday.
This newly submitted proposal aims, Anthony, is to provoke debates on what are the best action plans going forward to combat the virus and its pandemic.
Dr. Anthony further said, “We have been able to work very hard and ensure that we stabilize the medical and health response to COVID-19 but this is not sufficient and this is not going to get us out of the pandemic . “
Avoiding complacency, strengthening efforts to maintain and even strengthen current mitigation efforts and adequate preparation for the eventual introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine were among the essential measures, he highlighted.
And so, around 14:00 hours until after 20:00 hours on Wednesday, spectacular contributions were offered by the government and the opposition side of the house. The contributions that followed, however, focused largely on whether the current government was able to take better control of the pandemic than the previous government – which acted as the de facto government when the pandemic subsided Guyana first.
But it was the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, Gail Teixeira, who struggled to awaken some national unity and focus on combating the deadly virus. He emphasized that COVID-19 is an “equal opportunities virus” that does not take into account political affiliation, gender, ethnicity, class or otherwise.
“This is an opportunity for the opposition to take a national perspective and be able to say ‘Yes, we recognize it is a serious issue’ and to (pledge) their pledge,” said the minister.
He reminded that the Civic People’s Party (PPP / C), while in opposition, supported the previous administration with its efforts aimed at resolving the Guyana / Venezuela border dispute because it was a national issue. The pandemic, he argued, is another national issue that requires support from all stakeholders.
Deputy Speaker Lenox Shuman also called for the de-politicization of the COVID-19 response, echoing Teixeira’s sentiments that he does not consider an individual’s identity before infection and potentially serious harm.
What he suggested was a “comprehensive emergency preparedness plan” that includes more financial support to help cushion the effects of the pandemic, emphasizing that the implications of the pandemic have a far-reaching impact.
He also stressed that while Guyana is battling COVID-19, the country should not neglect the other common health issues.