COVID- 19 UPDATE| Additional testing kits, ventilators received

─Reg. 8 implements strict monitoring in border communities

DPI, Guyana, Friday, March 27, 2020

The Ministry of Health has received an additional one thousand, one hundred test kits from PAHO/WHO bringing the total to 1,800. The ministry has also received 14 ventilators from their suppliers.

The equipment will help boost the capacity of services provided related to COVID-19.

This was disclosed by the Public Health Minister, Hon. Volda Lawrence in her daily update to the nation on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

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Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence giving an update on the COVID-19 situation in Guyana on 27 March, 2020

The kits are to be used at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory which is the only facility in Guyana accredited and approved to perform the testing for COVID-19. While the ventilators will be used at the country’s tertiary health institution, the Guyana Public Hospital.

Minister Lawrence also singled out the work being done in the Potaro-Siparuni region to manage and safeguard the health of residents in communities sharing borders with neighbouring Brazil.

The Minister commended the work of the regional health authority and administration in this regard.

“A logbook is now in place to record all visitors’ name, contact info, travel history, medical background, destination etc. this will enable them to monitor travel which will allow for early reporting and timely response to any COVID-19 situation,” she stated.

This specifically for villages in sub-region one of the Potaro-Siparuni, namely Copenang, Tuseneng, Kanapang, Cheong mouth, Kaibarupai and Waipa.

In her update on the local figures Minister Lawrence stated “As of 26 March 2020, the number of positive cases remains at five with one death. The total number of persons who have been tested moved from 26 to 39. Of the five persons who tested positive three would have been imported cases and two local cases.”

She clarified that imported cases are those persons who became infected outside of Guyana and then travelled here, while local cases are those persons who became were infected in Guyana.

The minister further reported that 31 persons are currently under institutional quarantine by the Ministry of Public Health, while 135 are on home quarantine.

Another 14 persons are being monitored and four remain in institutional isolation by the health ministry. Psychosocial support continues to be administered for those persons who require the service.

It was noted that the ministry has four quarantine facilities with the capacity to hold 350 persons while the regions are have already begun to identify and prepare quarantine facilities.

As of 26 March 2020, calls to the COVID-19 hotline moved from 696 to 773, the calls were received from nine of the 10 administrative regions.

Globally the World Health Organisation is reporting that as of 27 March 2020, there are 468,111 confirmed cases, with 19,769 deaths. In the region of the Americas, the total number of confirmed cases stands at 81,139, with 1,176 deaths in 48 of the 55 countries.

Minister Lawrence called on the persons currently in mandatory quarantine to desist from disclosing sensitive information from the facilities they are being housed in.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.