Region 5 ramps up COVID-19 Measures

—quarantine and isolation facilities established

—healthcare workers trained in sample taking

—screening stations and checkpoints set-up

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 1, 2020

To keep the region free of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Region 5 (Mahaica-Berbice) has put additional countermeasures in place.

Regional Health Officer, of Region 5, Dr. Desmond Nicholson stated that these countermeasures have been implemented to ensure the Region’s health-care system does not become overwhelmed by a surge of COVID-19 patients,

It also allows them time for the development of countermeasures including surveillance systems, isolation facilities and the establishment of checkpoints for persons entering the region.

As well as medical countermeasures such as the development of effective medicines, vaccines and possibly a cure.

Public Health Surveillance is aimed at early screening, rapid diagnosis and reporting, case management reporting, contact investigations, and the monitoring of trends have been strategized by the region.

“To this end, we are involved in robust surveillance reporting and follow-up of each case of Acute Respiratory Illness (ARI) from all health institutions through the RHEOC [Region  Health Emergency Operations Centre] surveillance team, which shares its data with the Department of Epidemiology, MoPH (Ministry of Public Health), and the HEOC [Health Emergency Operations Centre] daily,” Dr. Nicholson explained.

Also, three checkpoints have been established to screen persons entering the region from Regions 4 and 6, to detect elevated body temperatures, which in turn allows for efficient screening, early isolation, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19 positive patients.

The Regional Health Officer also disclosed that a quarantine facility has been established at the Experiment Health Centre. The facility houses 22 beds to allow for  the monitoring of residents who have been exposed to the virus.

“These patients will be monitored daily by our team of medical professionals who will provide the highest level of medical care to all patients at the facility,” Dr. Nicholson stated.

In terms of isolation facilities, separate wards of the Mahaicony Hospital have been designated for isolation.

Six healthcare workers have also been trained in sample taking for tests which are done at the National Reference Laboratory.

Installation of handwashing stations at all health facilities, offices, businesses and other places where it is observed that residents congregate and sanitisation of markets, health institutions, and public offices has also been completed.

Dr. Nicholson also emphasised that staff members “must also comply with the highest standard in precautions, especially in hygiene practices, and are provided with adequate supplies of personal protective equipment to prevent them for becoming infected with COVID-19”.

Additionally, routine services will continue in the region as per usual.

“To ensure a continuation of routine services we have made strategic shifts relating to staffing at our facilities to ensure that our limited resources provide maximum benefit for the population.”

Under these services, there will be a continuation of routine vaccination, reproductive health service, management of mental health conditions as well as noncommunicable diseases and infectious diseases like HIV, Malaria and TB.

Meanwhile critical inpatient therapies; management of emergency health conditions; auxiliary services like basic diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, and blood bank services, among others, will continue to be offered on a 24-hour basis.

Residents are also urged to practise social distancing, wearing face masks, adhere to curfew measures and call the hotline numbers if they have been exposed or suspect they have the contagious virus.

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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.