Cabinet briefed on Guyana’s preparedness to deal with Coronavirus

Press Release

Ministry of Public Health

Georgetown, Guyana – Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Cabinet was today briefed by a team from the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) on Guyana’s preparedness to deal with any case of the Novel Coronavirus, which is centered in China. The Ministry of Public Health’s team included: Dr Shamdeo Persaud – Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Karen Boyle-Campbell – Deputy Chief Medical Officer; Ms. Collette Adams – Permanent Secretary, MOPH; Dr. Fawcett Jeffrey – Director of Medical and Professional Services, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and Dr. Tracey Bovell – Mass Casualty Specialist, GPHC

Dr. William Adu-Krow, PAHO-WHO’s Country Representative in Guyana also accompanied the team.

The team of medical professionals provided an insight to the rise of the Novel Coronavirus and advised Cabinet that the Caribbean and Guyana were at a relatively low risk, but that it is important to be prepared for any eventualities.

The GPHC and the Diamond Diagnostic Centre have been identified as the two medical facilities where any arriving passenger suspected of having the Novel Coronavirus will be quarantined. Both facilities are being prepared and retrofitted accordingly.

The team briefed Cabinet that Port Health Authorities had begun screening Chinese nationals arriving at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) from Suriname and Asia.

The Ministry of Public Health is engaged also, in training officials at CJIA and the Eugene Correia International Airport and other ports of entry to deal with any suspected cases of the Coronavirus. Quarantine areas at the ports of entry are being identified.

President David Granger thanked the team for the briefing and the work that they and other agencies are doing to ensure that Guyana is prepared to handle an occurrence. President Granger said Guyana’s preparedness to deal with transnational diseases is at an optimum.

The Ministry of Public Health will commence a public education campaign soon to sensitize the public about the Coronavirus.