WEEKLY UPDATE ON THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-2019) 18th – 28th February 2020
Since the commencement of active monitoring at ports in Guyana on the 18 January 2020, a total of fifty-four (54) persons arrived in Guyana with history of travel from high risk areas; 51 persons arriving from mainland China or Hong Kong were screened. Thirty- seven (37) of these persons were Chinese Nationals, twelve (12) Guyanese (10 Students, one tourist and a child) and one each from Finland and the United States of America. Two (2) Ukrainians and one (1) Singaporean traveled from Singapore through Europe to Guyana and were also cautiously screened and cleared for entry to Guyana.
Fifty-three (53) persons were contacted with daily telephone calls from the Ministry of Public Health. One person (the female traveler from Finland was not contacted and on further investigation was found to have left Guyana the day after arrival for Suriname).
Four (4) persons when contacted during the monitoring indicated that they were not feeling well and were visited by medical team from GPHC and Linden Hospital. All four were examined and temperature checks done. All were diagnosed with other medical conditions and cleared as suspects for COVID-19.
Since the monitoring program commenced, thirty-two (32) persons were found to be free from signs and symptoms of the infection after 14 days since arrival and were declared free of COVID-19. Eighteen (18) persons remain under daily follow-up.
Summary of Travellers
- Number of persons evaluated on entry – 54
- Number of persons Quarantined – 0
- Number of Home Isolation – 53
- Number reporting “not well” – 4 (three adults and one child)
- Number discarded – 4
- Number taken off Surveillance – 36 completed 14 days
- Number still on Surveillance – 18
The Ministry continues to maintain a high-level vigilance for the COVID-19 and to expand capacity to detect, diagnose and treat any suspected case of COVID-19. The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) has a fully equipped 14 bed unit and Diamond Hospital and West Demerara have capacity to isolate and manage cases of COVID-19.
The Isolation areas are equipped and personal protective equipment (N95 Mask, gloves and sanitizers) along with essential medicines and other supplies are in stock.
The Ministry continues to develop isolation capacity at most of the main public health facilities. Seven private hospitals also have capacity to isolate suspected cases until diagnosis can be confirmed.
In our efforts to shore up surveillance monitoring, eight (8) additional Medex have been deployed to Port Health Authorities. Training of all categories of staff has intensified and over 500 persons inclusive of Doctors, Nurses, Auxiliary Staff have been trained, in an effort to heighten awareness on COVID-19. Training is ongoing at Ogle, CJIA, Moleson Creek, Lethem and is currently taking place in Region #7 -Bartica.
Immigration and Customs Officers have been apprised of what to look for, and additional supplies have been dispatched to all workers at critical points, in the Ministry of Public Health’s effort for early detection and infection control of COVID-19.
The Ministry in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) developed capacity to test locally for the Coronavirus along with testing for Influenza A and B which present similarly to the COVID-19. Dr. Gresh, PAHO Virologist, trained Staff from the National Reference Laboratory from February 17-21, 2020, thus strengthening Guyana’s Laboratory facilities to do its own testing for the Coronavirus. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) remains at our disposal for the testing of COVID-19.