GPHC COVID-19 ready

Staff who tended to first coronavirus case doing well.

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), as the country’s tertiary-level healthcare facility is prepared and ready with respect to COVID-19.

According to Dr. Fawcett Jeffrey, Director of Medical & Professional Services at the GPHC, measures were put in place since the initial outbreak of the virus in Wuhan, China late last year.

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Dr. Fawcett Jeffrey, Director of Medical & Professional Services at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

“COVID-19 was discovered somewhere near to the end of December and we recognised that it was going to become an epidemic and then probably pandemic, (so) the Georgetown hospital started putting measures in place,” Dr. Jeffrey told DPI.

“Training with departments, our QI department and some of the other medical departments like internal medicine started training in the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), the correct way to use mask and gloves and proper sanitization of one’s self and surroundings,” he further explained

The hospital has also set up checkpoints and triage centres for persons accessing the institution from its various entrances.

Dr. Jeffrey said the hospital has also identified an isolation area for critical patients who may need to be isolated.

“We identified an area in the institution and it was prepared as an isolation area. The isolation area has enough beds to accommodate approximately 14 patients, but these patients will be patients that are critically ill that need ventilatory support.” Dr. Jeffrey stated.

He explained that once a person is suspected of having contracted COVID-19, a report is made to the Ministry of Public Health and that patient is then transferred to one of the named COVID-19 quarantine sites. However, if the patient shows severe symptoms, then the isolation area would be used to prevent the rapid spreading of the virus.

In the meantime, the medical staff of the hospital who tended to the first suspected coronavirus case, are said to have been monitored and doing well, even as checks are continually being made to ensure their wellbeing.

“None of our staff has come down ill to the extent that there is a problem. Dr. Jeffrey stated.

Adding that there was someone very early after the incident occurred that complained of feeling ill but that person is feeling much better now.

“I am optimistic that incidents like this wouldn’t occur again at the Georgetown hospital with the surveillance system that we have put in place.” Dr. Jeffrey remarked.

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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.