COVID-19 Impact on Guyana: April 2 Situation Report
The Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization expect for Guyana to experience 1400 cases of COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic. One suspected case is portrayed in our photo featured above, which was taken in Essequibo Coast.
So far 44 tests have been conducted in Guyana, with 19 confirmed cases.
Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) has extended its closure until May 1, on a recommendation from the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority. There is no change to the list of exceptions we noted in last week’s update.
A curfew or lockdown within Georgetown has been turned down by City Hall, with the Mayor indicating that the effect on local life and business would be unsustainable under a curfew environment.
There are concerns, particularly in the Georgetown, that the Guyanese population is not adhering to social distancing guidelines, despite the closure of many bars and restaurants as guided by the Ministry of Public Security. Indeed, we have seen people continue to gather in crowds amid their day to day activities.
Businesses in Georgetown are starting to see a reduction in commercial activity, due to concerns over the pandemic and the unresolved election process.
That said, Georgetown shops remain comparatively well-stocked, with no panic buying of staples and food stocks. Many pharmacies are posting notices that rubbing alcohol, wipes, Lysol, and disinfectant are out of stock.
Since the airports were closed, the U.S. Embassy has aided in the repatriation of 800 U.S citizens from Guyana, via exempted flights from CJIA.
The main town of New Amsterdam in Berbice, Region 6, announced a curfew on March 29th with residents instructed to be indoors by 7pm. The local Council has also closed all bars, rum shops, fish shops, hangout spots, and beauty parlors (hair salons, barbers, tattoo and piercing shops).Only pharmacies would be allowed to open until 6pm, and restaurants would be allowed to open until 4pm but only for take-out service. The new closing time for supermarkets and grocery shops is 4:30pm. Vendors selling non-essential items are forbidden to open for business.
Linden, situated in Region 10, instituted an evening curfew on 26th March. Only essential workers and police are allowed on the streets after 8pm. All businesses there, except for supermarkets and pharmacies, are closed. A regional health emergency committee was formed Linden, convening every 8 hours.
There is a curfew implemented from 8pm to 5am in Region 3, the Essequibo coast. Taxis are only allowed to take two passengers, and buses, minibuses, and speedboats are only allowed half of their licensed number of passengers. All transport operators must sanitize their cars, buses and boats after each journey.
The Mining town of Bartica has issued a Public Advisory for all residents to stay at home. All taxi parks, bus parks, and taxi catchment points have been closed. Taxis can be contacted through their bases and direct lines, while buses are allowed to work on rotation.