The Opposition party APNU/AFC has come to the forefront expressing resentments to the government’s latest decision in pushing persons to get vaccinated under a ‘dictatorial approach.’
In a statement on Thursday morning, the coalition said that this should be no surprise to the public in the way which the PPP/C government is dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic. The statement read, “We are appalled but not surprised by the means chosen by the PPP regime and some sections of the private sector to address vaccine hesitancy here in Guyana. No one should be surprised by these steps given that the PPP has increasingly adopted and encouraged authoritarian methods of governance over the last year. However, we also note the pushback from all sections of the society to these draconian measures.”
The APNU/AFC Opposition however has encouraged persons to get vaccinated as they have become available and believes that vaccination of the nation is necessary to fight against the pandemic.
But the party notes, that there are International Conventions as well as local laws which govern a person’s rights concerning medical interventions, and consultations should have been held instead of this sudden approach. “A responsible, democratic approach to vaccine hesitancy must take the rule of law into account,” the statement said.
The coalition, therefore, calls on the PPP regime to desist from their dictatorial approach in handling the pandemic and to instead adopt a consultative and collaborative approach that respects the fundamental rights of citizens since they do have legal rights which are in keeping with an act apart of the Ministry of Health. “The Medical Practitioners Act No. 16 of 1991 as well as the Patient Charter 2008 of the Ministry of Health, safeguard a person’s right to privacy and confidentiality as well as their right to consent and their right to refuse treatment and medical intervention. The approach to reducing vaccine hesitancy cannot be to ignore the fact that citizens have legal rights.”