Reg. 5 activates Regional Emergency Operations Centre

—Toll free COVID-19 hotline numbers activated

—Weekly sanitization exercises to be done in Public places

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Regional Democratic Council of Region 5, Mahaica-Berbice announced on Tuesday that a Regional Health Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) has been activated and a regional toll-free hotline established

During a press briefing yesterday, Deputy-Director of the REOC, Dr. Alana James disclosed that the centre is equipped with an emergency response team comprising medex, environmental health assistants and other health care workers who will be working 24 hours.

She advised that after a call is made to the hotline the team will be dispatched dressed in their protective gear, as such residents should not be alarmed since this is the standard operating procedures for such cases.

“Upon arrival at your home, the team will record all necessary information. The doctor or medex will examine the patient and will decide if the case will be managed at home or if they should be transferred to an isolation unit.  If a transfer is necessary all steps will immediately be put in place for such to be done,” Dr. James stated.

It was pointed out that whether a decision to transfer or not is made the team will brief the entire household of all the necessary precautions on the way forward. The team conduct continuous follow up with these persons.

Dr. James advised persons who may have symptoms or have come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 to call the numbers listed 640-1010, 640-3000, 624-9000 or 624-2000.

The necessary measures and recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were outlined by Regional Health Officer and Head of the REOC, Dr. Desmond Nicholson.

While the region has not yet imposed restrictions on travel or curfew Dr. Nicholson encouraged persons to avoid unnecessary travel, stay at home and practice social distancing at all times.

“Residents are asked not to congregate at public places, non-essential travel is discouraged and non-essentials businesses are asked to close while supermarkets and pharmacies are asked to operate from 08:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs,” he stated

Religious organisations are asked, where possible to live stream their services or to contact individuals by phone. Mass gatherings are also discouraged. Public transport operators are asked to observe physical distancing guidelines. Businesses are to easily accessible sanitation areas and implement a rotation schedule for employees to avoid overcrowding.

There will be weekly sanitization exercises in the local markets, hospitals and government buildings in collaboration with the NDC’s and other relevant authorities.

Senior Health Visitor Finella Hamilton-Squires spoke of the measures that have been implemented at the Primary Health Care Services in the region to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Additional cleaning supplies were distributed to health centres and hourly sanitization is being done by staff, hand washing sinks were installed at each health centre and clients are asked to wash hands before entering the building.

Additionally, educational talks on COVID-19 are being held at the health centres and government offices. Only children requiring vaccines will be seen at clinics and children who are not sick are being urged to stay home. Antenatal mothers in their first and second trimesters will be given 7-9 weeks appointment while high-risk clinics will continue as scheduled to cater to patients in need.

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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.