President Granger assures measures in place to prevent spread of COVID 19

─As Guyana records first imported case

─Public gatherings, non-essential travel being discouraged

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, March 11, 2020

His Excellency President David Granger this evening confirmed the first imported case of the Novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Head State has assured measures are being taken to prevent the risk of community spread. These include dispatch of a health team to the home of the deceased for assessment and initiation of public health prevention measures; identification and contact tracing for all possible exposed persons; a meeting of Ministry officials with members of staff at the hospital; and implementation of necessary interventions.

President G

His Excellency President David Granger.

The Public Health Ministry has reported that a fifty-two-year-old female, who recently travelled from the United States, died after being taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital on March 10, for severe respiratory illness.

Tests were conducted with one returning positive for the COVID-19. Other examinations carried out by the doctor before the patient died showed she had uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension case.

The President has advised that “public gatherings and non-essential travel be discouraged.”

This will be in addition to continued screening, which will take place at all ports of entries, and flagging of persons travelling from a list of high-risk countries, including some Asian countries and Caribbean islands.

The Head of State also called on the public to refrain from panic.

“I use this opportunity to appeal to the public to remain calm and to implement all the advisories relating to personal hygiene, social distancing and overall infection prevention and control.”

To date, the Ministry has three designated quarantine facilities where suspected cases will be monitored. The Ministry has also developed its local capacity to test for the COVID-19.

Health facilities’ readiness to respond to coronavirus have been assessed to meet the anticipated increase in demand on services and heightened Active Surveillance.

These efforts are supported by a communications campaign to keep the population updated on the virus and its impacts, and oversight provided by the Health Emergency Operations Centre. The National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will be activated to provide sector-wide support.

The Ministry of Public Health has embarked on a robust public awareness campaign to ensure the public is aware of what they can do to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus.