GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday March 17, 2020 – Guyana’s major ports of entry will be closed from midnight tomorrow as authorities try to stem the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) which has resulted in one death in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nation.
“The Civil Aviation Authority, in order to slow the process of this virus, and in consultation with the Ministry of Health, has decided with the approval of the Cabinet Taskforce to close all airports to all international flights,” Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) Retired Lt. Col. Egbert Field announced at a press conference today.
The closure of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Eugene Correia Airport will be for two weeks, in the first instance, but an extension could be implemented if necessary.
There will be exceptions made for outgoing flights cargo flights, Medivac flights, technical stops of aircraft that require fuel and specially authorized flights.
Domestic flights will still be allowed, but Field said those will be closely monitored.
Guyana joins Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname in the Caribbean and several countries in other parts of the world that are closing their borders.
Guyana’s first COVID-19 case was also the region’s first death from the virus that was first detected in China last November. It was a 52-year-old woman, with uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension, who had travelled to the country from the United States.
She died at the Georgetown Public Hospital a day after being admitted with severe respiratory illness.