Guyana steps up Coronavirus surveillance

−As Brazil reports first case

−MoPH to keep public updated

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Ministry of Public Health has increased its surveillance for the Novel Coronavirus at ports of entries, following the recent report of a case in São Paulo, Brazil.

Giving an update to media personnel on Wednesday, Minister of Public, Hon. Health Volda Lawrence noted that systems are in place to deal with anyone who enters Guyana with coronavirus.

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Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence.

“We have identified sites for the housing of patients should we need to do that. Just this morning we had another review of the systems in place, and we have made some recommendations.”

Additionally, the ministry has increased the human resource personnel at ports of entries namely the Moleson Creek Crossing which connects Guyana to Suriname, the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, Cheddi Jagan International Airport and at the Guyana-Lethem border. Increase surveillance has also been put in place at ports in Georgetown as well.

Minister Lawrence also laid to rest the concern that Guyana may already have a suspected coronavirus case.

“What I know is that there was a patient with symptoms, and it turned out that person had nothing whatsoever to do with coronavirus, they were suffering from other illnesses. That person has been treated and that matter has since been closed.”

She explained that persons presenting themselves with symptoms would be isolated and undergo tests to verify whether they are a carrier of the virus. Measures recommended by PAHO/WHO would then be followed.

The minister also reminded the media that just last week training was completed at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory to ensure Guyana was prepared to test for the coronavirus.

Also, Health Ministers from CARICOM countries are meeting to share information on what is being done in the Caribbean to heighten awareness and deal with any occurrence of the virus in the region.

The Public Health Minister said her office would be sharing prompt updates on the virus with one expected on Thursday.

“It is in the evenings that we get the official reports from PAHO or WHO so we are awaiting that. That will outline where we are, how many persons have come to our countries from high-risk countries and what we have done,” the minister explained.

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COVID-19 Alert!

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.