On Friday, the Ministry of Public Health held its third daily press briefing on the global Covid-19 pandemic as well as the situation locally. According to the MOPH, the total number of confirmed cases in Guyana still stands at 5. The MOPH now has 1,800 Covid-19 test kits. The Ministry has tested a total of 39 persons. There are 31 persons under institutional quarantine. Those on home quarantine remains at 135. The MOPHs Surveillance team is monitoring another 14 persons. Four persons remain in institutional isolation by MoPH. A transcript of the press briefing is below:
“Third Press Briefing COVID-19
Good day and A very warm welcome to all of you, members of the Media to today’s COVID-19 briefing, as we continue to provide an update on the Global, Regional and National situation in relation to the COVID -19 Pandemic.
Ladies & Gentlemen, as of the 27th March, 2020, the updates are as follows:
- the Number of confirmed cases globally stands at
468,111 with the number of deaths at 19,769
- In the Region of Americas, the total number of confirmed cases has increased from 70, 877 to 81,139 with the number of deaths moving from 977 deaths in 48 countries to 1,176 deaths in 50 countries out of 55
Allow me to apprise you of Guyana’s situation as of yesterday, 26th March, 2020
- The number of positive cases in Guyana remains at 5 with 1 death and the total number who have been tested moved from 26 to 39. Of the 5 persons who have tested positive, 3 would have been imported cases and 2 local.
- Let me clarify on the difference between imported cases and local cases. Imported cases refer to those persons who became infected and travelled to Guyana. On the other hand, local cases are those persons who were infected in Guyana.
- We do have a number of persons quarantined by MoPH:
Under institutional quarantine, the number of persons remains at 31, while those on home quarantine remains at 135. At present, our Surveillance team is monitoring another 14 persons. Four persons remain in institutional isolation by MoPH.
Psychosocial support continues as planned for those persons who need these services.
With regard to our capacity to respond, we currently have 4 facilities ready to provide services for 350 persons while our regions have already begun to identify and prepare quarantine facilities. As of yesterday, calls to the COVID-19 hotline moved from 696 to 773 calls; these calls were received from 9 of the 10 Administrative regions.
I am happy to announce that the Ministry of Public Health has received an additional 1, 100 Test Kits from PAHO/WHO, bringing the total number of donated kits to 1, 800. We have also received 14 ventilators from our suppliers to boost the capacity of level three.
Members of the Media, fellow Guyanese, I wish to compliment the Regional & Health Authorities of the Potaro-Siparuni Region for the work they’re doing on COVID-19 and the villages of Sub-Region 1 namely Kopinang, Tuseneng Village, Kanapang, Chiung Mouth, Kaibarupai and Waipa for the initiative taken in their various communities that border Guyana to Brazil. A logbook is now in place to record all visitors; name, contact info, travel history, medical background, destination, etc. This will enable them to monitor travel which will allow for early reporting and timely response to any COVID-19 situation. Congratulations!
Further, I wish to comment on the situation that pertains in the Region of the Americas where the number of COVID-19 Positive cases is increasing at an alarming pace. In the United States of America, we do recognize that there is a rapid spread of COVID-19 and I am sure that we all are concerned for the state of wellbeing of our loved ones over there. Let us learn from their experience and ensure that we adhere to the several preventative measures which include social distancing, hand washing and cough etiquette.
I now wish to address some of the concerns that were raised on Social Media platforms:
- Firstly, let me remind the public that Only the National Public Health Reference Laboratory of the MoPH is equipped and certified to conduct COVID-19 testing.
- In response to questions regarding the drug used to treat COVID-19 positive cases, please be advised that to date WHO has not identified a specific drug that can be used to treat these persons. Please note however, that persons who have contracted the Coronavirus Disease will continue to be treated based on any symptoms that may be present.
- Regarding the calls for investigation into the disclosure of information from the quarantine site, I make an appeal to you to recognize the sensitivity of this situation and to desist from this practice. We would like to continue to provide you with free internet access, however, if this continues, we will be forced to take action.