“In a recent update on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Guyana the Public Health Minister Hon. Volda Lawrence has shut down rumours of a potential case in Region Nine and re-emphasised that Guyana still has five confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
The Minister clarified the information received states that the person who has tested positive for coronavirus in Brazil did not recently travel to Guyana. She added that his positive status was not recorded in Guyana but rather in Brazil.
“The individual in question did not visit Guyana for the last two weeks prior to his confirmed status or after it was discovered. We are aware that his relative who operates a business in Lethem is under quarantine in Brazil, not Guyana. Both individuals are in Brazil,” Minister Lawrence stated.
The Region Nine Health Department has been mobilised to deal with any potential cases while ensuring the necessary preventative measures are taken. The region shares borders with Brazil and officials have begun contact tracing to address any situation that arises while ensuring the safety of the Guyanese population.
The Health Minister also addressed reports concerning the passengers who recently returned from Barbados on March 25 on a special chartered flight. This flight was facilitated for the ‘stranded’ Guyanese to return home with the predetermined arrangement that they are to be quarantined immediately upon landing.
Minister Lawrence explained the conditions under which persons are quarantined by the Ministry of Public Health.
“Let me clarify that persons in quarantine are those persons who have been exposed but are not sick; persons in isolation are those who would have been exposed and have tested positive, showing signs and symptoms.”
She noted that a total of 31 persons are under mandatory quarantine by the Ministry of Public Health while 135 persons are on home quarantine. Both categories will be monitored and at the end of 14 days, medical evaluations will be done.
“After the 14 days of quarantine persons will be evaluated by a medical officer and based on the review will be cleared or placed on additional days of quarantine. If cleared they will be re-evaluated after 7 days.”
Meanwhile of the five positive cases recorded for Guyana, the remaining four persons, are institutionally isolated. They will be held for 14 days after which if no new symptoms develop within three days prior to the 15th day, they will be tested twice in 24 hours. If negative results are produced, they will be cleared but if results are still positive, they will remain in further isolation.
The Health Minister encouraged persons to use the hotline if they have concerns about the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, 696 calls were received through the hotline numbers.
She also called on the general public to take the necessary precautions, including handwashing and sanitising and social distancing to protect themselves from contracting the virus.
Note: Contact tracing is the process of identifying persons who may have come into contact with an infected person (“contacts”) and subsequent collection of further information about these contacts. By tracing the contacts of infected individuals, testing them for infection, treating the infected and tracing their contacts in turn, public health official aim to reduce infections in the population.”
Source: Department of Public Information (Delicia Haynes)