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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Guyana is currently free of ‘bird flu’ – Health Minister

As a precautionary measure, bird flu injections are given to patients in Asia & Europe


Georgetown , GINA, October 22, 2005

Guyana is currently free from the Avian influenza virus, commonly known as the ‘bird flu’ in both human beings and the bird population, disclosed Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy.

He noted that the current monitoring system has not detected any signs of the avian influenza.

“The status of the Americas, including the United States of America, Canada and the Caribbean is currently bird flu free,” assured the Health Minister.

The Health Ministry in preparation for any possible ‘bird flu’ outbreak is currently finalising along with its partners and stakeholders, the National Plan against Bird Flu.

The Ministry is strongly recommending good hygiene practices including washing hands with soap and water and to seek early medical attention for any flu-like illness.

The virus, which causes the flu is commonly known as the HN51 virus, a virus subtype that occurs mainly in birds, and can affect human beings if contact is made with domesticated animals such as chickens, ducks, and turkeys.

The infection is found mainly in these animals and can easily kill them. However, even though wild birds carry the virus in their intestines they usually do not get sick.

So far the spread of the virus from humans to humans have been rare. Some symptoms of the Avian Flu in humans include, fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches, eye infections and other severe life-threatening complications.

About 60 people out of 120 confirmed cases have died from the deadly strain, all in South East Asia. It recently spread into Romania, Turkey and Russia. The H5 strain was on October 21, confirmed in Croatia.

At the moment, Asian countries are stepping up bird flu measures. H oping to avoid the doomsday-scenario flu pandemic, four generic manufacturers are currently in talks with Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical giant a release from the ‘Taipei Times’, Thailand stated with a view to potential tie-ups.

Roche manufactures Tamiflu, known generically as oseltamivir. This is considered the first line of defense against the H5N1 avian flu virus that experts fear could spark a deadly, worldwide outbreak in people.

Between two and 50 million are expected to die globally if a pandemic occurs.


Plaisance market among five others to be rehabilitated


Georgetown, GINA, October 22, 2005

General repairs to the Plaisance community market, East Coast Demerara are expected to commence next month. This is according to Minister of Housing and Water, Shaik Baksh, who was accompanied by Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Clinton Collymore during a visit to the market today.

The aim of the visit said Minister Baksh was to consult with Regional Officials on the proposed renovation of the market. He noted that Cabinet recently offered its no objection to repair Mon Repos and Lusignan markets. Additionally, Rosignol market in Region Five and Port Mourant market in Region Six are also slated for repairs.

However, Minister Baksh pointed out that work will not start unless both Ministries consult with vendors adding that this process is expected to commence within the next two weeks.

Minister Collymore explained that his Ministry will be collaborating with the Housing Ministry to execute the projects since it was initiated by President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Among the many plans for the market will be the removal of vendors from the East Coast railway embankment and the development of a 325 by 40 feet pavement including a revetment. Plans are also on stream to have the dumpsite be relocated to another location in Lusignan.

The Regional Officials were also informed of plans to demolish the Plaisance market annexe which is located on the southern side on the railway embankment and the development of the area into a parking facility for vendors. Minister Baksh said such a facility will be more beneficial to everyone since only two or three vendors occupy the annexe presently.

Before leaving the market, Minister Baksh promised the Regional Officials that officers from his Ministry will conduct a follow-up visit to the area to commence surveys of the land next week.

Chairman of the Plaisance/Industry Neighbourhood Democratic Council, Clinton Rollox, said he is positive that the vendors will be cooperative in having the market repaired since they have been awaiting this for years.

Minister Baksh also made a visit to Vryheid’s Lust, East Coast Demerara to follow-up with residents a road project which was recently concluded in the area. The 1000 metres of road is a promise fulfilled to residents and costs approximately $22M.

Over the past years Government has been spending millions of dollars to rehabilitate and construct new facilities in various communities countrywide.


Caribbean Statisticians to discuss implementation of Single Market


GINA, Georgetown, October 22, 2005

Topping the agenda of the 30 th meeting of the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians (SCCC), October 26-28 in Kingston, Jamaica, will be the implementation of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Single Market (CSM) and the regions achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

According to the CARICOM Secretariat, “the meeting will serve as a platform for the exchange of information among producers, users and donor organisations, given the regional thrust to establish the CSME, and the international focus on the United Nations MDGs.”

The theme of the meeting is CSME and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals- the implications for statistics in the region

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rudy Insanally commenting on Guyana’s achievements of the goals said, “ Guyana has made progress in the areas of the delivery of health, education and some other social services. I believe in these areas we will be able to advance to a decent level and hopefully reach the targets that have been set for the year 2015.”

The availability of information to produce the MDGs statistics and indicators as these relates to measurement issues of the goals is also up for discussion among the Caribbean Standing Committee officials.

The SCCS meeting will be preceded by the 13 th meeting of the Regional Census Coordinating Committee (RCCC) from October 24-25.

That meeting will focus on the status of completion of the 2000 round population and housing censuses, as well as the initial steps being put in place to prepare a cost effective strategy for the 2010 Census Decade.

The Secretariat reported that, “Member States of the Caribbean are making steady progress on all fronts including statistical data collection and sharing to foster the smooth functioning of the CSM after its December 2005 implementation.”

A CARICOM Audit Team recently conducted an audit to determine Guyana’s state of readiness and compliance with the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas for instituting the CSM.

Deemed a successful audit, Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Clement Rohee said, all indicators suggest that Guyana will be CSME compliant by December 31.

A major part of the discussion at the upcoming Regional Standing Committee meeting are issues pertaining to the existing statistical infrastructure as an enabling factor for the establishment and functioning of the CSM.

This is in addition to the Committee’s examination of the provisions enshrined in the revised Treaty establishing CARICOM including the CSM with respect to the free movement of services, capital and person and the right of establishment.


Guyana Embassy in Washington wins ‘Washington DC’ Cricket Cup


Georgetown, GINA, October 22, 2005

While the Guyana Cricket team clinched its victory in the Regional Limited overs KFC Cup on October l6 at Bourda, the recently formed Guyana Embassy cricket team, in Washington D.C was in the process of emulating a similar feat by defeating the DC Metro Cricket Club in the finals of the Washington, DC Softball Cricket competition at the Chillum Cricket Ground, Maryland, USA.

A release from the Embassy stated that DC Metro won the toss and elected to bat under a sunny sky and stronger than usual wind. Openers Everton Forrest and Leon Nicholas found the going tedious, as opening bowlers Rohit Reddy and Avondale Paul were relentless and accurate during the first eight overs.

They were ably supported with a combination of medium pace and spin bowling by Forbes July, Troy Pinga1 and Kappelo Deva, who together restricted DC Metro to 65 for nine wickets off 25 overs.

In reply, Guyana Embassy scored 69 for the loss of one wicket in 11.4 overs. Thanks to a flowing 30 and 32 respectively from openers Andre Morris and number three batsman Kapalleo Deva, never seemed troubled throughout their short, but entertaining innings.

At the presentation ceremony held at the Pepperpot Cafe, Captain of winninig team Reddy received the champion trophy

The Man-of-the Series trophy went to Kapal1eo Deva, while best batsman and best bowler trophies went to Andre Morris and Forbes July, respectively.

The Competition was sponsored by Metro Diesel Company, Washington and included teams from the Caricom Embassies, as well as the Embassies of India, New Zealand and Australia. Several established Clubs in the Washington and Maryland areas also participated.


President Jagdeo reaffirms commitment to working with religious bodies

  • Diwali Utsav hosted at State House



Georgetown, GINA, October 22, 2005

Head of State, President Bharrat Jagdeo has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to working with religious bodies in a process of nation building.

This reaffirmation was made this evening as he hosted a Diwali Utsav on the lawns of State House, which was attended by a wide cross-section of Hindu leaders including Sri Prakash Gossai (Hindu Missionary), Jagdesh Sukhu, Pandits Jeewan Maraj and Sugrim Ramsarran.

President Jagdeo noted that from the formation of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), religious bodies have played an integral role in the governance process. He recalled ‘extending a hand’ to religious bodies since his inauguration to office.

He noted that it is important “to preserve the secular nature of the state, but we will work closely with the leaders because we believe they have a great role to play in society. Maybe greater than politicians.”

Noting through interaction with these religious groups, the President said that the PPP/C administration’s shortcomings can be highlighted and corrected and that is the reason he frequently holds such interactive sessions.

“We are not perfect, but our intentions are good. We have a plan which firmly fixes on the future to transfer Guyana as a place for all,” said President Jagdeo.

He added that it is a difficult and long road ahead with many distractions.

“But I promise you that with your help we will stick to the promise we made to the people, that is, to provide a better life for them, especially their children,” noted the President.

Commenting on the auspicious occasion of Diwali, the President noted the message, “good over evil” is particularly important in the context of Guyana and Guyanese should never lose sight of the message of sacrifice, struggle and triumph over evil.”

President Jagdeo told the Hindus that religion is not only one of prayer but also one of action, “as what we do and the service we give to mankind are very important.” He also called on Hindus to distance themselves from selfish behaviour.

“People live in an oasis of plenty, when there is a desert of want out there” pointed out the President, adding this should not happen.

He urged them to desist from the culture of complaining and be more appreciative of their blessings.

In this context, he pointed to the world situation and noted while Guyana has its problems, “we are better off in many instances.”

President Jagdeo also noted that Guyana has emerged from a political culture which was never accountable to the people but rather encouraged power and which did not believe in solving problems through discussions.

“At stake here is the future of the country, your children and grandchildren’s future,” underscores the Head of State.

He expressed hope that the perseverance will see ‘dinosaurs’ fading rapidly, adding this will come become a reality when there is unity.

President Jagdeo touched on the issue of family morale, crime, condemnation of racial and ethnic tension, lack of cleanliness and the need for young people to have a sense of pride in their country, and cultural identity.

Later in the evening the Head of State will hold an interactive session with the leaders, and he encouraged them it is a forum for them to feel free to ask questions, makes criticisms and make recommendations.

Addressing the gathering also were Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and President of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud and Minister of Agriculture, Satyadoew Sawh. They both noted that the hosting of the event is a reflection of Government’s commitment to the religious community.


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