Speaker shuts Harmon’s request to debate mandatory vaccination measures

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Presenting a short presentation on Monday, concerning the new gazetted COVID-19 regulations, leader of the Opposition Joseph Harmon’s motion was shut down by Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir. Stating that it “is obviously a matter of urgent, definite public importance,” Harmon said that those measures severely hamper the ability of the people of Guyana to access public and government services. According to the Official Gazette on July 29th, the government has embarked on a complete overhaul of the current Public Health response to the COVID19 pandemic which was initiated following the conduct of a rapid assessment which highlighted that its response to the pandemic has been fragmented and incapable of keeping the population. Following Harmon’s presentation, the speaker said that the issue was not urgent. “The issue here is urgency…what we have is an ongoing issue which under the rules that apply to urgency it doesn’t apply and so I would not be able to allow your request,” Nadir said. In the measures gazetted, persons who are unvaccinated have been placed at a disadvantage. An appointment is needed to access a number of government agencies and ministries along with a negative COVID-19 PCR test that was done no longer than 72 hours. Only those vaccinated with Astra-Zeneca, Sputnik-V, Sino-pharm, Sinovac, Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson will be allowed access. The Georgetown Public Hospital also has enforced proof of vaccine before entering the compound.

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