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—Opposition flags reduction in COVID-19 testing as infections surge
The A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) has expressed grave concern over the decision of the Public Health Ministry to restrict persons from getting the PCR COVID-19 test at public health facilities, contending that such a move would create a false image of the country’s infection rate.
“This move by the Government is two-fold; one, to allow for the reduction in reporting of the number of positive cases we haveseen daily…[and] two, to force persons away from public facilities to private centers where they will have to pay to be tested,” the coalition contended. It is of the opinion that the public will no longer be in receipt of the true spread of COVID- 19 in the nation.
Further, the coalition expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s management of the pandemic.
“The current rapid spread of the Coronavirus is a direct result of the Government’s incompetence and total disregard for the health and safety of citizens by those in office. Upon learning that the Omicron variant was in Brazil and the Caribbean, no efforts were made to prevent its entry into Guyana. The Brazil to Guyana crossing remains open with little to no COVID-19 measures in place,” it reasoned.
It added: “No efforts were made to reduce or stop flights from countries that were recording high numbers of positive cases due to the Omicron variant. Instead what we heard from the Health Minister was that systems will be put in place to send samples for testing as numbers increase, a clear indication that no plan was in place to deal with the expected. We do not know if and when samples were sent for testing to confirm which variants are in Guyana . This is the level of crassness the people of Guyana have to endure from this careless administration.”
By restricting PCR testing to a limited number of persons exhibiting symptoms, the Government is attempting to attempt to show a reduction in the numbers, the coalition further contended.
Referencing to Article 24 of the Constitution, which states “Every citizen has the right to free medical attention and also to social care in the case of old age and disability”, the coalition said citizens should have unhindered access to PCR testing.
It said at this juncture, the Government should be boosting its capacity to do more daily testing so that it can be aware of the COVID-19 situation. Such, the coalition argued would allow for informed decisions to be made to positively impact the health and safety of the people of Guyana