WHO updates Coronavirus guidance for all countries

―Urges countries to “test, test, test”

DPI, Guyana, Monday, March 16, 2020

Earlier today, the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted a media briefing to provide an update on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus outlined several measures for all countries to implement to handle this pandemic as he called on them to increase testing.

“Our key message is test, test, test,” Dr. Ghebreyesus underscored.

WHO panel

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (centre) along with Dr. Maria Van Kerhove, Technical Lead, WHO Health Emergencies Programme (right) and Paul Molinaro, Chief Operations Support and Logistics (left)

The Director-General noted that knowing where the virus is circulating and locating all cases will serve as a major step in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Amongst the guidelines, the WHO advised that people follow fundamental health measures outlined and cease all social gatherings; health authorities conduct rapid testing and implement immediate isolation as a means to reduce transmission of the virus. Masks are only to be worn if sick.

The WHO is currently assembling evidence from several published studies to efficiently deal with the global situation. Studies are also underway in laboratories in several countries to understand the different environmental conditions and surfaces in which the virus can persist.

It has been recommended that everyone be aware of their roles during this pandemic. The responsibility is not solely on health sectors, but each citizen in taking the necessary measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

While everyone is at risk, the WHO has said the vulnerable population includes persons with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases and those over the age of 60 to be at a higher risk of death.

Countries have been urged to have systems in place to find missing coronavirus cases to isolate those cases all in light of reducing onward transmission.

Guyana has confirmed four cases of COVID-19. In following the health guidelines, persons are also advised to contact the emergency hotline at 227-4986 extension 251 0r 624-3067 if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

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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.