More COVID-19 testing to be done in hinterland regions

─ Regions 7, 9 to receive new medical staff 

─ programme created to educate citizens on COVID-19 guidelines

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, August 13, 2020

Earlier today, in a virtual discussion hosted by the National Communications Network (NCN), Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, addressed the COVID-19 situation in Regions 7 and 9.

In the past few weeks, Guyana has, once again, seen a gradual increase in the number of positive coronavirus cases, with spikes emanating from Regions 7, 8 and 9.

The Health Minister highlighted that Guyana’s neighbouring country, Brazil, sees about 50,000 cases daily. He stated that cases in Lethem have spiked due to persons still traversing the closed borders. He noted that policing the border has posed some challenges.

Minister Dr Frank Anthony

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

“There are people who are crossing the border back and forth, and we suspect that several persons who have travelled to Brazil and have since returned may be the ones responsible for bringing across the infection,” Dr. Anthony noted.

He urged Guyanese to follow all health protocols and to understand the epidemiology of the disease because no administrative region is immune to COVID-19.

Minister Anthony highlighted that his Ministry created an educational programme to enlighten citizens on the reasons for the spike in cases. This programme encourages citizens to adhere to all health protocols in the fight against COVID-19.

According to the Health Minister, testing in Region 9 has increased, and the positive cases will be transferred from quarantine to isolation.

“We are exceeding the capacity of persons in the quarantine facility. However, the Civil Defence Commission has installed a number of units to provide temporary accommodations to properly isolate and quarantine those infected,” Minister Dr. Anthony explained. 

He further disclosed that one of the doctors who was stationed in Region 9, contracted the virus; therefore, the entire medical team has been quarantined as a precaution.

The quarantined medical team will be replaced by health professionals from Georgetown to ensure that health services will not be compromised in Region 9.

A similar situation has occurred in Bartica, Region 7, where a number of medical personnel contracted the virus while working with COVID-19 patients. Minister Anthony conveyed that a new medical team is scheduled to travel to Bartica on Saturday, August 15.

The Health Minister said his Ministry is tackling COVID-19 with a new and proactive approach, with the involvement of regional and international stakeholders, to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

NOTE: Epidemiology is defined as the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems.

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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.