Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony has promised stiffer penalties for flouters of COVID-19 protocols and the enhancement of enforcement activities as Guyana experiences a spike in confirmed cases.

The health official said that a decision has been taken by the COVID-19 Task Force to have the Joint Services increase vigilance regarding businesses breaching protocols, and citizens’ nonadherence to the facemask and social distancing requirements.

“One of the things that we have addressed with the Joint Services is that there must be increased enforcement of the COVID guidelines because if people continue to disregard these guidelines by not wearing masks, being very close to each other, gathering in these public spaces…We’re going to have spread,” he said, while adding that active cases in the country are upward of 900.

The Joint Services have also been instructed to enhance enforcement activities within the public transportation sector, targeting minibusses and water taxis.

“We are going to be more stringent using the Joint Services to be able to enforce these guidelines. I think you’ll see more people being charged for not wearing masks and those that are not complying with the guidelines. I think they are going to see stiffer penalties coming their way,” he warned.

Yesterday, Guyana recorded its 216th COVID-19 fatality. The country, since March 2020, would have recorded 9,668 confirmed cases, of which 4,947 are males and 4,721 females.

Sixty-three persons are in institutional isolation, 856 in-home isolation, 11 in institutional quarantine, and another 11 in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Some 82,539 tests would have been conducted since March 2020.

The regional breakdown of confirmed cases is as follows:

Region One – 1,027
Region Two – 248
Region Three – 855
Region Four – 4,554
Region Five – 274
Region Six – 500
Region Seven – 834
Region Eight – 246
Region Nine – 438
Region 10 – 692


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