COVID-19 mobile units, facilities begin operation

−established to reduce patient-load at GPHC

DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 27, 2020

The Ministry of Public Health today launched a mobile unit and two community COVID-19 facilities.

The mobile unit will be stationed at the at the East La Penitence Health Centre and the COVID-19 facilities will be located at Herstelling on the East Bank of Demerara  and Paradise on the East Coast of Demerara.

These facilities have been established because Georgetown has been deemed the epicentre of the Coronavirus Disease with 55 percent of all confirmed cases residing in Central Georgetown.  Region Four accounts for more than 80 percent of the cases.

Speaking at the opening of the East La Penitence Health mobile unit, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Karen Boyle explained that it will be traversing several areas throughout Region four for an indefinite period.

“We have plans for the unit to go into other areas which we consider hotspots. We are also thinking of places like the markets since we have recognised from our epi-data that many of the contacts of our [confirmed] cases would have traversed certain market places.”

Dr Boyle assured regular clinic patients they can keep their appointments at the East La Penitence Health Centre.

“The staff who work in the clinic will not be a part of this. There is a special team of persons who have been trained to do this, they have the equipment and the PPEs. This will pose no risk to the staff inside nor to the patients who are going to their regular clinics.”

The DCMO pointed out that the mobile unit will assist in reducing the number of persons seeking screening and testing at the Guyana Public Hospital.

Meanwhile, Deputy Regional Health Officer, Region Four Dr Christopher Seetram described the process to be undertaken at the two community COVID-19 facilities.

“You will be expected to wash your hands as soon as you enter the premises Then you will be met by trained personnel who will conduct what we call triage one and initial screening where your signs and symptoms are noted.”

Dr Seetram noted that in the event the person meets the criteria to be tested, “then they will move to an enclosed booth where trained personnel will do swabbing and these samples will be sent for analysis in Georgetown.”

Persons are also being asked to be more forthcoming with information such as addresses and contact information which will assist the Ministry in contact tracing.

The mobile unit and the two COVID-19 facilities will be operational from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Fridays. However, based on the demand these hours may be extended.