The Finance Ministry is denying a claim that it is putting the health of its staff at risk by allowing them to remain on the job despite having coming in contact with a worker who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
In a letter published in the Kaieteur News today, a “Concerned Guyanese” stated that a ministry staffer showed COVID-19 symptoms at work and was subsequently tested positive; that the Ministry quickly took action and arranged for all members of that department to be tested but they were told to continue working rather than isolating themselves until the test results become available.
The Ministry said that it takes the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously, so much so that it has been one of the lead ministries, if not the lead in ensuring that its staffers are safe and observe all protocols in relation to the virus and their work environment.
It added that the Ministry’s policy is that if any staff displays symptoms and tests positive, the entire specific departments are shut down. Tests are administered on all of the staff, and those staffers are immediately thereafter sent home to await their PCR test results.
“The Ministry is therefore unaware of any such incident where staffers of any of its departments were tested and asked to remain at work or continue to come to work until they receive results as this would be absolutely callous (exposing an entire Ministry and the public to the virus) and would never be a policy practiced by this Ministry.”
It concluded, “the Ministry is committed to ensuring as far as possible that its staff are healthy and safe and observe all Covid-19 protocols and will continue to provide them with the necessary tools to allow for them to remain so. It therefore considers this letter to be highly mischievous as it is totally opposite to what actually pertains at this Ministry and will never occur.”