Persons with flu-like symptoms should get tested for COVID-19

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony is encouraging citizens experiencing flu-like symptoms to get tested for COVID-19.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony

During Friday’s COVID-19 update, the minister explained that signs and symptoms of the BA5 variant can resemble the flu as such it is important to be tested to verify whether or not a person is infected with the coronavirus.

“If persons have flu like symptoms, they shouldn’t assume it’s a flu they should go and get tested to verify whether or not it’s COVID and if its COVID then they’ll need to isolate at least for five days,” the minister said.

Testing for COVID-19

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the health ministry has established a number of testing sites across the country. The sites are still available to the public.

Currently there are 649 active cases across the country.

Minister Anthony said getting tested will reduce the spread of the virus and allow for better management of active cases.

“We have testing facilities available across the country and we’ll like to encourage more people to be tested, the unfortunate thing is that a lot of people now might have COVID, but they don’t come forward to be tested and that’s unfortunate because they can continue to spread it to other persons and that can be more challenging to manage,” he said.

COVID-19 home testing

Additionally, he noted that there continues to be a very low rate of testing in hinterland regions, especially in Region Eight. That region has not recorded any COVID-19 cases for the past weeks, because of the limited tests conducted.

“I would encourage people, especially in Region’s Eight that again if they have flu-like symptoms they should be tested,” Dr. Anthony said.

Government, as well as public healthcare facilities, have been offering Antigen and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing across Guyana.

However, PCR testing in the public system is only conducted on persons who have been hospitalised, and those who have been in environments susceptible to COVID-19 infection.

Also, Guyana has introduced its COVID-19 home testing. Many persons have opted to this method, however, if found to be COVID-19 positive they should report it to the Ministry of Health.

Additionally, 20 persons are currently hospitalised across the country with one patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

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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.