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    5th of September, 2021. Region 9, Guyana, South America

    Last updated: September 5, 2021 at 10:57 am

    President Ali arrived in Region 9 yesterday, 4th of September, 2021 via a Trans-Guyana flight from Ogle. Upon arrival, the president was welcomed by his supporters, but also passed by picketers protesting against the Government’s vaccine policies.

    The protestors, who lined the sidewalk near to the Takutu Gas Station and close to the round-about in front of the Lethem Power Company, held placards with statements such as “my body, my choice.” The protestors also chanted loudly, “our body, our choice!” During interviews, the protestors explained that they are not protesting against administering the vaccine, and they are not anti-vaxxers. In fact, some of them said they had already taken the vaccine, but what they are protesting against is applying harsh penalties to those who choose not to take the vaccine.

    Currently, measures put in place by the Guyana Government to pressure citizens into getting vaccinated include banning entry into government offices, hospitals etc if a citizen cannot produce a “vaccine passport.” Further, teachers and other workers will be required to produce a valid PCR test every five days at their own expenses or take the vaccine to avoid this. If they cannot comply, they cannot work. The same applies to workers in the medical professions.

    Yesterday, in a speech at the Regional Toshaos’ meeting in Region 9, President Ali defended the Government’s vaccine polices.

    We have never, at any time, made this vaccine mandatory, but we have a very important responsibility politically, socially, morally, economically, and clinically. And that responsibility is to ensure that we present to the people every opportunity that would lead them out of disaster…that would lead them out of danger, that would lead them out of (arm). As a government, if you are guided by Matthews 20: 31-46, it says all nations have to give account. All nations have to give account for your (stewardship). But more importantly, in giving that account, your destiny will be determined. Now I want to achieve eternal life like all of you. Which one of us don’t want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? And we all have to make an (estimation). But you see, when you are in government, you have that added responsibility of making a decision that impacts the lives of many people – of the entire population. The nation’s welfare, the nation’s health is in your hands. And you have to take a decision that is best in the interest of the nation’s health, and the nation’s welfare. So while you have a right not to take the vaccine, you do not have a right to infect those who took the vaccine. Everyone has a right.

    president irfaan ali – speaking at the regional toshao’s meeting in region 9, september 4, 2021
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