Tuesday night, a 53-year-old woman was admitted to the emergency room of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation with respiratory issues and other symptoms linked to the Coronavirus, but she had no flu-like symptoms. She had succumbed to the illness this morning. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Public Health performed several tests on samples from the woman’s body. This evening, multiple sources have confirmed that the samples tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The confirmation makes it the first recorded case of the virus in Guyana. This news comes on the same day as the World Health Organization officially declared this outbreak of Covid-19, a global pandemic. The label triggers national governments to activate preparedness plans and possibly take emergency procedures to protect the public.
WHO noted that the designation is not an indication of the deadliness of the disease, rather it is used to describe when an outbreak has spread to multiple regions and exists in those areas over a sustained period of time. More information about the disease is provided through its website World Health Organization on Covid-19.
Locally, health authorities are treating it as an imported case, as the victim had recently returned from a visit to New York.
In response to the spread of the virus, this week the Ministry of Public Health has established a 24-hour hotline which can be reached at 227-4986 (Ext. #215) or 624-3067.
The novel coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019. The virus which has since spread to some 123 countries. As of March 10, 2020 the virus has infected more than 126,000 and more than 4,600 have reportedly died as a result.