Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence on Saturday confirmed three positive cases of Covid-19 bringing the total number to date to four.
“The three patients who have tested most recently positive have been identified as the husband of the 52-year old woman who died from the virus earlier this week, one of her children and another person living at their residence on the East Coast Demerara,” the Public Health Ministry says.
The country’s first coronavirus victim, her husband and at least one of her children travelled from New York to Guyana on March 5th and she presented herself to the Public Health system five days later with health complaints.
Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, (with out-of-hand diabetes and high blood pressure) health professionals also diagnosed her for the coronavirus. A sample was collected and sent to National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL) where laboratory tests confirmed a positive result on Wednesday morning.
The woman died last Wednesday while receiving medical attention at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). Her family members were informed.
Other family members and more than a dozen others who came into contact with the female patient were advised by MoPH specialists to self-quarantine. They are all under regular surveillance by public health specialists.
Tests on the other household members over the last two days revealed that the three had contracted the virus discovered last December in Wuhan, China.
The MoPH reminds the public that if anyone has a fever, cough and difficulty breathing they should immediately call the Covid-19 hotline:
227-4986 ext. 215 (from 8am-4:30pm;
624 -6674; 624 – 2819 (from 4:30pm to 8am).
It is also advisable to share previous travel history accurately with your health care provider.
The Health Emergency Operating Centre (HEOC) was this week activated by the Public Health Ministry as part of a broader menu of measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
These measures include:
- sending health teams to the homes of those with complaints for assessment and initiation of public health measures;
- identification and contact tracing for all possible exposed persons;
- meetings between public health officials and staff members of the country’s health facilities to ensure all necessary infection-control measures are in place
Minister Lawrence appeals to Guyanese to remain calm and follow the advised health protocols:
- practice simple, everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- frequently clean hands using soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly unclean;
- when coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue. Dispose of tissue immediately and wash hands;
- avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough by keeping a distance of at least 1 to 2 metres (3 to 6 feet) from them;
- resist touching your face.