NEOC coordinating response to ailment in Reg. 1

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, March 31, 2019

Following the reports of employees from the Guyana Manganese Incorporated (GMI) firm in Barima-Waini (Region 1) being infected by an ailment, the Director-General of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Lieutenant Colonel, Kester Craig activated a National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) to bring all the key stakeholders together to ensure there is a Common Operating Picture (COP).

The seven employees who are currently hospitalised at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) displayed symptoms of pain, fever, headache and respiratory distress, which resulted in the death of another worker.

The meeting, which was hosted at CDC’s headquarters, Thomas Lands on Sunday, aimed at identifying the key response stakeholders who will track, monitor and document the situation.

Representatives from the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs (MoIPA), Ministry of Communities (MoC), the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF) during Sunday’s meeting.

The Ministry of Public Health was identified as the lead agency for response. It will be supported by the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs (MoIPA), Ministry of Communities (MoC), the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF).

At the end of the meeting, a plan of action was developed and agencies were designated specific responsibilities which are to be executed within an identified timeframe.

Contrary to the reports in the local media, there has been no determination of what the ailment is but all the patients have displayed similar symptoms. Tests are currently being conducted by the Ministry of Public Health to identify the ailment.

Anara Khan

Image: Civil Defence Commission

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