COVID-19 treatment protocols standardised

− Doctors to be trained
− Regional Hospitals being equipped to respond to COVID-19

Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, Minister of Health

The Ministry of Health has standardised treatment protocols in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

This was disclosed by the Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, who explained that the Ministry is working on many fronts to mitigate the high numbers of positive cases being identified daily.

Speaking to DPI today, the Minister said as more testing is being done and new cases are being reported daily, a technical and clinical working group has compiled a document which can serve as a national treatment guideline for COVID-19.

It recommends that doctors are trained and accredited by the Medical Council of Guyana to handle these cases.

The protocols outlined in the document will guide these doctors on what should and should not be done and how treatment varies for different COVID-19 patients

The treatment protocol/guideline will speak to care for persons in isolation whether at home or in an institution, those hospitalised with severe symptoms and those with mild symptoms.

Crucially, intensive care will be paramount for those displaying severe symptoms. The Health Minister recognised that this will be necessary as more cases are being identified, requiring hospitalisation while others are asymptomatic and simply need to be isolated.

“I do not want people to be alarmed but as we continue testing, we are going to see a lot more positives as the days go by and we need to prepare… A percentage of those persons testing positive would need hospitalisation and a percentage of those hospitalised would need ICU care… So, we are working to ensure all our hospitals are ready to provide that care,” Minister Anthony explained.

Beginning from the point of screening at all hospitals, the protocol/guideline will ensure that persons visiting health facilities for treatment outside of COVID-19 are protected.

Currently, there is an ongoing evaluation of regional hospitals. This is to allow for the creation of a section specifically for COVID-19 patients to be treated separately from the remaining hospital population.

Also, each of these hospitals is likely to cater to ICU spaces for patients with respiratory distress. With that coming on stream, 29 ventilators which have recently been procured will ensure this process is complete.

Minister Anthony intimated that the first batch of these ventilators will be received this week and the first facility to benefit will be the Georgetown Public Hospital. The hospital currently has four working ventilators and the additional machines will boost the treatment capacity in the ICU.