Key questions unanswered over procurement of Russian vaccines

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Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon said despite a press conference and a message by President Irfaan Ali, key questions remain unanswered over Guyana’s procurement of 200,000 doses of the Russian- manufactured Sputnik V vaccines from a middleman out of the UAE.
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Below is the full statement by Harmon
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I have taken note of a long, rambling and evasive press conference held by Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony and his sidekick Minister Joseph Hamilton and a short erratic outburst from President Irfaan Ali this evening.

I am advised that both Dr. Anthony and President Ali failed to address the serious questions asked and issues raised by me and the Opposition Coalition regarding the PPP’s procurement of the 200,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines from Sheik Al Maktoum and they both refused to provide any credible evidential assurances that the Sputnik V vaccines procured are authentic.

Secondly, Dr. Anthony shockingly, confessed that the PPP regime wilfully and deliberately ignored the cheaper Sinopharm vaccine available directly from the manufacturer at US$15 per dose and instead eagerly engaged in a transaction with Sheik Al Maktoum, a middleman, at a heavily inflated price of over 130% above the world market price and overpaid by more than G$600MILLION. This is either reckless mismanagement or wilful corruption.

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The Guyanese people deserve explanation, accountability and transparency.

It would appear as though the anti-democratic three month shutting down of the National Assembly was part of a carefully coordinated plot to participate in this international price-gouging vaccine racket.

We again call for the PPP to act responsibly and suspend the use of this batch of 200,000 Sputnik V vaccines until the issues raised about its procurement can be clarified and its authenticity verified.

I have noted as well, and indeed thank Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley for clarifying the issue which was boasted about in the National Assembly by Dr. Anthony – Guyana’s vaccination rate.

Dr. Rowley exposed Dr. Anthony’s claim as an empty boast as Guyana took a decision to accept the non-World Health Organization approved Sputnik V vaccine, which Trinidad and Tobago and other countries, in the best interests of their citizens, opted not to do. This is responsible and caring leadership as exemplified by Dr. Rowley and other world leaders.

Once again, I reiterate that, on behalf of the Guyanese people, and in their best interest, we remain concerned about establishing the veracity of the batch of 200,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines which the PPP sourced from the Emirati Sheik  Al Maktoum who, it has been reported in the Norwegian press, has been accessing vaccines via a Norwegian convict.

We call once again for President Ali to properly and meaningfully address the nation and to provide credible and verifiable evidence that the vaccines were safely and transparently procured and that they are authentic.



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