AS the holiday season rapidly approaches and crowds of shoppers grow, the potential of the spread of COVID-19 at a disturbing pace is real and Guyanese are advised to get vaccinated and not let their guard down, as many persons are still seen wearing their mask improperly.
This is according to Region Three Coordinator for the COVID-19 Task Force, Halim Khan, who told this publication that business places have begun to see a hive of activity and the clusters and crowds are not good for the health and wellbeing of citizens.
He said the most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus are wearing well-fitting masks, practising good hand hygiene, physical distancing, improving ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and getting vaccinated.
President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, recently urged Guyanese to take their COVID-19 vaccine, as it is currently the only “tool” available to protect against the consequences of the deadly novel coronavirus.
He also encouraged persons who are eligible to receive a booster dose, to take the shot.
“We have the vaccines available, so my short answer to you as we adopt in this new way of living in fighting all these variations is to be vaccinated …. This is our only chance of fighting off and being aggressively ahead of the impact of any variants on our country,” the Head of State said.
Khan, who is also the President of the Region Three Private Sector Inc. (R3PSi), said with the emergence of new COVID-19 variant Omicron, there is mounting concerns for the safety and wellbeing of citizens.
The Region Three COVID-19 Task Force Coordinator said as of Tuesday last, 404,605 or 78.9 per cent of the adult population took the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 284, 174 or 55.4 per cent are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, 3,790 persons, 18 years and older took their booster shot.
For the season, Khan explained that those who are not fully vaccinated must wear well-fitting masks over the nose and mouth if in public indoor settings. As for outdoor celebrations, those who are vaccinated do not need to wear a mask, unless they are in areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases.
“Carefully consider your actions and be consistent in maintaining good COVID-19 prevention habits in addition to vaccination,” Khan urged, adding: “During this holiday season, care for others, and keep the health and safety of young children, people of advanced age, and those with underlying risk factors in your family and community in mind.”