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Suriname President, delegation that visited Guyana test negative for COVID

According to reports out of neighbouring Suriname, that country’s Head of State and the entire delegation that visited Guyana recently for the inauguration of President Irfaan Ali have tested negative for the coronavirus. They were tested “as a direct result” of the report that Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hugh Todd, has tested positive for the virus.

A report from Star News Suriname reads as follows: – “President Chan Santokhi and the entire delegation that traveled to Guyana for the inauguration of Guyanese President Irfaan Ali have tested negative for the corona virus.

The test was a direct result of the report that Guyanese Secretary of State, Hugh Todd, has been infected with the virus. The delegates have been in contact with Todd.
President Santokhi and the team have resumed their work schedule according to protocols, the Communications Service Suriname notes. The head of state was due to visit the Ministry of Health this morning, but that visit had been canceled pending the test results.

Also in neighbouring Guyana, all cabinet members who have had contact with Todd have been tested for the virus.”

Meanwhile, there has been no word as yet on the results of the tests that were carried on President Ali and all his Cabinet Members yesterday.

President Ali had said that it had been brought to his attention by Todd, that he (Todd) came into contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, and had decided to undertake the COVID-19 test, which came back positive. Ali said that he had advised Todd to inform all individuals whom he came into contact with, to work with the Minister of Health to facilitate contact tracing and possible testing.

The Head of State further asserted “I have advised all Cabinet Members to undergo a COVID-19 test, as a precautionary measure. I have advised Ministers to work remotely until they receive their test results.
I have made a commitment to conduct the affairs of the government transparently and there is no greater issue that requires transparency, at every level, than in the way we address the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, I have taken this step to inform the public about this development.

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that must be addressed frontally. My government has taken a holistic and comprehensive approach – which prioritizes testing, increased provision of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and inter-agency collaboration, etc. – in response to the pandemic.
I commit to doing everything necessary to ensure the safety of the Guyanese people.”