Health Minister re-emphasises importance of COVID-19 protective guidelines
− mask-wearing, social-distancing key to lower disease transmission
DPI, Guyana, Monday, August 10, 2020
It has been five months since the onset of the Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Guyana, and the situation regarding new cases being detected in Guyana is worsening.
As of Sunday, August 9, 2020, there have been 568 confirmed cases, 357 of those being active cases.
One of the main reasons for the spike in cases is lack of adherence to safety precautions by many persons. The most important ways to prevent contraction of COVID-19 is to wear a mask, hand washing and sanitise, practise social distancing.
Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, took the opportunity over the weekend to re-emphasise and outline the importance of these guidelines, which he noted have resulted in lower transmissions of COVID-19.
He especially outlined the importance of wearing a mask once in public places.
“In areas and in places where people have been wearing the masks, the transmission of the disease has been drastically reduced. Let’s go back to the dynamics of the disease, this disease is transmitted from a person who is infected if they cough and those droplets get to an uninfected person, and it infects them.”
The Health Minister explained that the wearing of a face mask is not only required for persons who are sick or for those working in a healthcare setting. Masks, he underscored, should be worn by everyone who may interact with other persons or may have the need to go out into the public.
This is vitally important since many of the persons who have tested positive for the virus in Guyana are asymptomatic; meaning even though they may not exhibit signs or symptoms of the virus, they can infect others.
The Health Minister explained that while the mask will prevent droplets from getting onto surfaces, there are smaller airborne particles that are easily transmissible. Wearing a mask and practising social distancing, together, minimises this risk.
“When they conducted a simulation of both parties wearing masks, the chances of infection have been drastically reduced. I have seen a lot of people wanting to move around in various environments, and they don’t want to wear masks. That’s a no-no. If we all want to be protected, then we all must take the precautions. Therefore, if you protect yourself by wearing a mask and I do the same, then we all are better off.”
The Minister advised that if every person does their part in this regard, it will help in containing and stopping the spread of COVID-19 forthwith.