Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF), Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, has advised the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (retired) Claudette Singh, that the Commission should adjust its desired 10-hour work schedule within the daily 6am to 5pm time-frame, and that it does not extend into the curfew period, 6pm to 6am.
The PM made this known in his weekly column, “My Turn”, published in the state-run paper, the Guyana Chronicle.
The decision to recount the votes cast in the March 2 Regional and General Election was taken by Singh after the Chief Justice ruled that the results for Region Four were flawed.
Subsequent to that commitment, Guyana confirmed its first case of the Coronavirus Disease 2019. The Task Force was established soon after with the PM as its head.
GECOM then sought guidance from the NCTF on the way forward, now that the recount will be conducted amidst the pandemic.
The PM said that Singh, a retired Justice of Appeal, sought guidance from the NCTF regarding: time at which the daily recount exercise should end; number of persons who should be safely accommodated at the recount venue at the same time; and required protocols for quarantining persons coming from abroad, and who were invited to be part of the recount process.
Nagamootoo said he provided the Chairman of GECOM with the advice of the task force, as follows:-
1. That GECOM adjusts its desired 10-hour work schedule within the daily 6am to 5pm (06:00hr to 17:00hrs) time-frame, and does not extend it into the curfew period (18:00hrs to 06:00hrs).
2. That all persons who are permitted special entry into Guyana during this period when its air space is closed to in-bound passengers, must submit themselves to being quarantined at a government institution for a period of 14 days.
3. That GECOM allows four technical experts of the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) to conduct a site visit to assess whether distancing arrangements conform to the pandemic guidelines and the published Order.