MEDICAL: President Ali announces US$60m response to COVID-19

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With the number of COVID-19  cases rising  in the country and five persons dying from the disease in the last four days, President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday August 19, announced a number of measures his Government is taking to tackle the pandemic which includes the sourcing of some US$60M to assist in its efforts.

The monies will be sourced from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank. Another US$2M has also been sourced from the Government of India.   

The President also announced that the Bank of Guyana has extended to December 2020, the moratorium to allow commercial banks to further defer customer payments to the end of December and loans will not be classified as non-performing  and will therefore not require loan losses provisioning.

The Bank of Guyana will also relax Section 14 and 15 of the Supervision Guidelines Number 5 to the end of December which is intended to result in direct benefits to customers of the banks.

There will also be a reduction in the liquidity requirement and the lowering of the reserve  requirement from 12% to 10% . The Head of State noted that the impact of the total shutdown on the country’s economy due to the pandemic continues to be severe.

He said there has been a 4% decline in the economy and contraction of business by almost 70% and also a reduction of operational output as a result of rotation in work.

President Ali said the pandemic has led to starvation and as such a holistic plan is needed that does not just look at the health aspect of the pandemic but also  targeting measures that will recreate jobs and improve spending of the economy and securing the population with implementation of good health measures.

He also announced that the controversial infectious diseases hospital at Liliendaal will now be used as an isolation facility and will accommodate more than 100 persons.
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