Guyana has three new cases of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, bringing the new total number of cases confirmed here to eight, inclusive of one death – Patient Zero.
This was confirmed by Minister of Public Health, Ms. Volda Lawrence, yesterday.
During her daily COVID-19 update done via Facebook live stream, Lawrence noted the total number of persons who have been tested has moved from 39 to 44.
“With regard to persons in institutional quarantine, the number is now 32, while the number of persons on home quarantine has not changed. Six persons are now in institutional isolation by the Ministry, and the Ministry continues to offer psychosocial support for those in need of these services,” said the Minister.
Regarding the local capacity to respond to the disease, the Minister said that in addition to the four facilities, which are ready to provide services for 350 persons, all regions now have capacity centrally to cater for an additional 134 persons.
Further, the Minister updated the public on measures undertaken to safeguard the prisons and elderly homes.
She noted that recognising the vulnerability of these groups, Infection Control measures are already being instituted and monitoring is ongoing.
According to the Minister too, the regional task force has been established and sensitisation sessions continue with business places, banks and other stakeholders.
“Visits to public places to ensure that they are implementing measures and taking precautions and following the infection control protocols are ongoing…
Sanitisation of public places market, Port health and Border complex, continues and visits to the villages using the PA system to promote precautionary measures, sharing of flyers with COVID-19 information continues,” the Minister said.
According to her, in Region Nine radio Lethem has been continuous giving information and programmes on COVID- 19. She revealed too that, “Visits to several of the non-conventional ports of entry into Guyana were done. These visits revealed that the Brazilian army is present at several of the popular crossings and Guyanese police are at several. The Task Force continues to work with the police, army and immigration to assist with the monitoring of these crossings. Village Leaders have taken the initiative to institute check points in two of the districts: Sand Creek and Aishalton to monitor entry,” the Minister informed.
At the Lethem Hospital, the Minister revealed that there is an isolation room with 4 beds and the necessary protective and sanitisation supplies. The hospital has also implemented sanitisation practices for all staff and patients entering the facility and supplies (protective and sanitisation) have been sent to the main health centres and hospitals in the districts, she disclosed.
In addition, the Minister expressed gratitude to PAHO for its donations and overwhelming support “during our preparatory planning and implementation of our National Response Plan to COVID-19”.
“I also spoke of receiving ventilators from our suppliers to cater for our Level 3. Let me clarify for you, fellow Guyanese, that I am not referring to Health Facilities but to the levels of illness which are categorised as Mild, requiring no hospitalisation; Moderate, requiring hospitalisation and Severe where more specialised care is a necessity,” the Minister explained.
Meanwhile, President David Granger in a subsequent statement appealed to Guyanese to continue implementing safety precautions.
“The public must adhere to infection prevention and control measures as personal conduct is the single most important element in preventing the spread of this deadly disease,” he said warning, “Guyanese, a cavalier approach in the face of this global pandemic can seriously impair our efforts to combat COVID-19. Consequences will be devastating for the entire population.”
According to him too, the government responded quickly to the pandemic by appointing Prime Minster Moses Nagamootoo Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force.
“The Task Force has drafted a National Strategic Master Plan that will guide our approach to combating the Novel Coronavirus Disease. The Minister of Public Health… has established the Health Emergency Operations Centre. I thank the Ministry and the Centre for the work they have done to date in containing the spread of COVID -19,” said the President.
He disclosed that the Centre has been conducting screening, testing and quarantining and, when necessary, isolating those who have been suspected in having contracted the virus or those who may have come into contact with infected persons.
“The National Task Force continues to monitor the situation in Guyana, and this includes citizens’ conduct. We are concerned that too many citizens and businesses have been ignoring public advisories and warnings,” he shared.
Granger also appealed for continued to support for all medical professionals including: doctors, nurses, and other caregivers. “I urge you also to practice social distancing in public places and to avoid crowds, ceremonies including funerals and large gatherings. I urge also that persons remain calm and implement all guidelines relating to personal hygiene and infection prevention and control,” he said.
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