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Guyana Defence Force to sanction members who refuse COVID-19 vaccines

Published:Saturday | May 22, 2021 | 1:27 PMCMC
CMC photo.

The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has issued a directive stating that its members who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will be sanctioned.

The decision is to take effect on Monday.

According to Newssource Guyana, this was revealed in an internal memo that was issued to Commanders late Friday. 

Although government officials have stated that COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory, the memo stated that all members of the GDF who are refusing the vaccines will be interviewed and told of “disincentives that will follow and possible sanctioning by the Force."

It also stated that only vaccinated soldiers will be permitted on transportation belonging to the GDF and that vaccinated persons are to be served meals first at bases.

The report states that the memo instructs commanders to reorganise the barracks at the various bases in such a way that the vaccinated soldiers will be housed separately from those who are not vaccinated.

No change in curfew hours 

Meanwhile, concerning the rate of infection, Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Friday said there was also no empirical evidence to prove that shifting the current curfew hours will reduce the spread of the virus. 

The current curfew starts at 10:30 p.m. and ends at 4:00 a.m. (local time) daily.

Speaking  during a press conference on Friday, Jagdeo said other countries in the region that have been in lockdown since the start of the pandemic  have experienced worse levels of infections.

“We have demonstrated that there is no empirical evidence to say [by] shifting curfew hours you will get less rates of infection,” said Jagdeo who added that the government was not considering a lockdown.

He urged all citizens to get vaccinated noting that once the majority of the population is vaccinated, then persons can stop wearing masks and the country and fully reopen.

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