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4 confirmed coronavirus cases in Guyana; 13 in mandatory quarantine

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Boyle.

Guyana’s health authorities have asked 70 persons to stay at home for 14 days and 13 are under compulsory quarantine as part of efforts to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Gordon-Boyle said Tuesday.

The senior Public Health Ministry official made the disclosure, even as she rubbished websites that are reporting that Guyana has as many as 21 cases. “They don’t have credible data. I don’t know where their data is coming from but it’s certainly not coming from the Ministry of Health,” she told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/Demerara Waves Online News

She said of the 13 cases, four have been diagnosed with COVID-19. One woman, who had returned from the United States more than one month ago, has since died from complications associated with diabetes and hypertension.

Gordon-Boyle said that from Wednesday, the Ministry of Public Health will be providing daily bulletins and periodic online updates to reflect official Guyana government statistics.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer said the 13 cases have been in compulsory quarantine for almost 14 days, while the others are in voluntary quarantine for varying periods depending on when they arrived in Guyana.

The United States Centres for Disease Control (CDC) was Wednesday expected to hold a teleconference to discuss the CDC’s coordination with international partners, cooperation with Ministries of Health, and global health protection information around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Gordon-Boyle said the Ministry of Public Health has been holding talks with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and China. “We are looking for whatever credible help is available and so we are looking at how best we can coordinate the help we get,” she said.

Guyana’s two international airports have suspended most operations until March 31, and schools and the University of Guyana are in total lockdown for all categories of staff and students until April 20. A number of private businesses including stores and fast-food enterprises have either closed altogether or scaled down operations.