Public Health Ministry mobilised to deal with COVID-19

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 12, 2020

Before the first case of imported Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) had been declared locally, the Ministry of Public Health with support from the PAHO/WHO Guyana office had already implemented several measures

Here is what you need to know.

The first case of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Guyana was diagnosed on March 11, 2020, after a 52-year-old female who recently travelled from the United States succumbed to severe respiratory conditions.

A health team was dispatched to the home of the deceased to initiate health prevention measures while at the same time screening and monitoring family members. This will aid in identification and contact tracing for all possible exposed persons.

Ministry of Public Health officials met with staff of the hospital who were on duty during the time the deceased was admitted. They too were screened and the implementation of necessary interventions has begun.

Screening remains in place for those persons arriving in Guyana, from high-risk countries: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Brazil, French Guiana, Panama, St. Vincent, the United States of America, People’s Republic of China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Iran.

The Ministry of Public Health has:

  • Designated three quarantine facilities; others will be identified
  • Heightened Active Surveillance
  • Embarked on a communications campaign to keep the population updated on the virus and its impacts and oversight provided by the Health Emergency Operations Centre.
  • Assessed the readiness of our health facilities to meet the anticipated increase in demand for services
  • Continued to fill existing gaps, including additional supplies and equipment at present the Ministry has enough personal protective equipment in the country for our health facilities. It also has an adequate store of respiratory medicine for the next three months
  • Trained, and continues to train, health-care providers and first-responders, in this regard

Also, the Public Health Ministry with PAHO/WHO has developed the local capacity to test for the COVID-19.

His Excellency President David Granger has advised that competent agencies continue to patrol irregular border crossings and that there also be enhanced sensitisation of key personnel at all air and seaports is to continue.

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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.