‘Guyanese have a responsibility to do the right thing’ – Health Minister Anthony

— speaks on COVID-19 measures being enforced, persons playing their part

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, August 16, 2020

The Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, has reiterated the fact that Guyanese have a responsibility to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Appearing on a ‘Government in Focus’ televised interview, on Saturday evening, Minister Anthony spoke extensively on what is continually being done to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in Guyana.

The Health Minister noted that even as the new PPP/C Government is doing their part to protect the population, the onus still lies with each individual to ensure they are not exposed. On August 14, revised emergency measures were issued for the period August 16 to 31, 2020.

While these measures are enforced to prevent further transmission, they have also been implemented to safeguard livelihoods and adopt a new norm for life in the country. Since assuming office, following the declaration of a new Government on Sunday, August 2, 2020, Minister Anthony has appealed to citizens to adhere to the preventative guidelines and emergency measures that are in place.

He said, the effort to stop the virus does not rest solely with the Government, and noted that since 40% of cases are asymptomatic, businesses that are allowed to operate must practice caution.

“This is a collective effort; everyone has their role to play, whether you are a patron to a particular service or operating the service, there are roles and responsibilities for everyone, and I think once we start doing that all of us will be safer.”

With the increase in new cases, Minister Anthony advised that persons should be more inclined to practice the safety measures as these are integral to the safety of all, and is the most efficient way of flattening the COVID-19 infection curve.

Within the last two weeks, there has been a sharp increase in positive cases; this is owed to the fact that there has been increased testing. Currently, testing is being conducted in all ten regions. Region Five, which has never recorded a positive COVID-19 case, recorded its first, recently.

The Health Minister said that the direction taken, to increase testing, will allow for the Government’s response to be evidence-based and effective.

“As we test more people, we find more positives, and we can take action, isolating people so they cannot continue transmitting,” he explained.

Minister Anthony reminded that persons are still asked to stay at home where necessary. For persons who may have been in contact with a positive case, or are displaying signs and symptoms of COVID-19, they too are asked remain at home, contact the hotline, and health care professionals will mobilise and lend assistance.

Meanwhile, as more cases are being identified, preparation is being made for complex and severe COVID-19 cases, which will need to be admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Currently, such cases are transported to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC).

“While our major capacity is at the Georgetown Hospital, we have been exploring other regional hospitals, and we are looking at how we can increase their capacity, and we are looking at the right type of equipment. [We are also training] our physicians who are out there so that they’d be able to handle some these cases, so not all severe cases would come to Georgetown,” Dr. Anthony stated.

This will be realised in a few weeks.

Citizens are reminded to adhere to all the health and safety measures to reduce their chances of contracting the disease.

The interview with the Health Minister was facilitated by Leeron Brumell of the National Communications Network (NCN), where Prime Minister, Hon. (ret’d) Brigadier Mark Phillips was also a guest.

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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.