Essequibians concerned about high presence of Venezuelans in region

first_img– region’s Chamber of Commerce says business folk also worried about health risksDue to the great influx of Venezuelans entering the country through the Charity Port, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Essequibians are highly concerned about not only their security but also the safety of their health.President of the Essequibo Chambers of Commerce and Industry Suean SeewnarayanReports are that scores of citizens from the Spanish-speaking nation are usually “lined up” at the Charity village port of entry and many of them usually take up residences in Region Two.President of the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI), Suean Seewnarayan stated that the concern about health risks to locals with the immigration of those Venezuelans was brought up at a meeting recently between the ECCI and the Police Commander of that Division, Khali Pareshram.She explained that a businessman from Charity, who also sits on the Board of the ECCI, pointed out that in light of the recent Leptospirosis outbreak in the country, as well as the fact that the Venezuelans entering Guyana’s borders are only given certain vaccinations, if any upon arrival, many concerns have been raised about threats to the health of Essequibians.However, Seewnarayan pointed out that the issue is not that Venezuelans should not be allowed to seek refuge here or that they should be quarantined; residents including the business community in Region Two want to know the precautionary measures that are being taken or put in place to safeguard the health of Guyanese, especially those living in that region.“They are people; we cannot put them out. We have to understand the state that they are coming from and so we have to be hospitable towards them. Persons are just concerned about health risks and precautionary measures as well as in the area of security since these are people we do not know or know the backgrounds of,” she emphasised.Although there are steps that have to be taken when any Venezuelan enters Guyana, such as he/she is required to visit the police station where they can be “registered” and given certain vaccinations, residents in Essequibo feel the need that more should be done in order to protect their health while helping the foreigners.“From what I understand, what came out of that same meeting with Commander and with the Chamber of Commerce is that there are days when you have hundreds of persons there lining up coming into Charity and they are at the station(s). I think there is some regulation that was put in place with the police and a Government Ministry but I think that once they come in, they have to register at a station…but to my understanding it is not like one or two but they come in by hundreds, big groups, so that is where the concerns started”, she added.Late January of this year, Regional Chairman of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region One, Brentnol Ashley declared that the most critical issue affecting residents in Region One relates to migrants from Venezuela.He had stressed that his region severely lacks human resources adding that there continues to be a shortage of drugs and medical supplies as a result of the increased number of Venezuelans seeking medical and other attention.The Regional Chairman at that time had said that taking into account the increased challenges and difficulties that officials within his region are forced to confront, the support being offered by Region Four’s health sector is greatly appreciated.The Region One RDC Chair also appealed to the Government to step up their security patrolling and presence at the borders, stating that of recent there has been an increased number of threats.“We have heard that there is a plan to hijack the ferry and this resulted in the ferry having to be escorted into here a few weeks ago because there were reports that the Sindicatos were planning an attack,” Ashley had also stressed. (Kristen Macklingam)last_img

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