Govt’s response to COVID-19 swifter
-medicines, PPEs and other gear procured to curb disease
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony says the Government has stabilised its response to COVID-19 in Guyana, and is now able to faster respond to incidence of the disease as it remains focused on curbing transmission.
In giving an overview of the efforts made to date to treat Covid in Guyana, Dr. Anthony said the Ministry has increased testing, it has procured equipment and personal protective equipment (PPEs) for frontline workers and has upgraded its services at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and at regional hospitals.
Since it came to office in August, the Government has also procured the requisite medicines needed to treat this and other diseases.
“We did an emergency procurement of $3.4 billion worth of medicines, and then we have now put in a bigger order, which would take us over for the next 14 months,” he said, during Thursday’s COVID-19 update.
The medicines have been distributed across the country to health centres and other facilities to treat Covid patients, as well as those suffering from other respiratory or chronic non-communicable diseases. Shortages of reagents at laboratories, blood bags and other critical supplies at banking facilities have also been remedied.
Additionally, the Government has expanded its capacity to accommodate persons who are hospitalised due to the disease.
“We have extended the capability for persons who need hospitalisation because of Covid. We have more space and can now properly accommodate more than 150 persons at Ocean View, plus the 25-bed ICU, and we have all the equipment such as monitors, ventilators, CPAP machines and so forth, to be able to manage these patients,” Minister Anthony said.
Dr. Anthony also said work has begun at the GPHC to clear the backlog of planned surgeries.
“In the new year…we will be working to clear a lot of the backlogs that we have in surgery and getting back the surgical teams to work faster and because we are now using the antigen testing at the hospital, we will be able to test everyone that is coming in to make sure that we have a Covid negative environment in the hospital.”
The capacity at regional hospitals have also been boosted with the requisite equipment and medicines to treat patients.