New PPP/C Gov’t, Health Ministry, mobilised to combat COVID-19
— President Ali outlines interventions to take place within coming weeks
— Infectious Diseases Centre to be used as isolation facility
— staff trained; machines procured for testing
His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, updated the nation on the next steps being taken by his PPP/C Government to control the spread of COVID-19, and ensure systems are implemented to respond effectively to the disease.
Importantly, as new cases of the COVID-19 are being identified daily, the Head of State announced that the Government has agreed to utilise the Infectious Diseases Hospital as isolation centre for approximately 150 persons.
The President noted that in coming weeks, the country’s testing capacity for COVID-19 will improve significantly, beginning with the training of Medical Laboratory Technologists, from both public and private health sectors.
The technologist will be equipped to operate in the National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL) as early as next week. They are critical to reducing the backlog of test samples.
Additionally, machines to maximise testing will be acquired.
“Two new automatic machines will be sourced to cut testing turn-around time from nine hours to two hours. This will not only clear the backlog but significantly improve our capacity to do mass testing, which will become necessary in the eventual opening up of our economy,” His Excellency explained.
Meanwhile, 29 ventilators are expected in the country and will be distributed to regional health facilities throughout the country to ensure that COVID-19 Intensive Care Units are functioning in all regions.
Currently, there are only four ventilators at the Georgetown Public Hospital, and this is the only facility where a COVID-19 ICU is functioning.
In response to the COVID-19 situation in Region Seven and Nine, health care personnel have been deployed to hotspots in these regions to help contain the spread and transmission of COVID-19.