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Public Health Minister identifies Georgetown areas with COVID-19

Director of the Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Util Thomas delivering a presentation on suicide at Parliament.

Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence on Wednesday identified several areas of Georgetown, the epicentre of Guyana’s COVID-19 virus outbreak, where many of the positive cases live.

Areas identified Kitty, Sophia, Turkeyen, Liliendaal, Cummings Lodge, Alberttown, Cummingsburg, Bourda, Lamaha Park, South Ruimveldt and Thirst Park.

Latest figures show that the number of confirmed cases has increased by three to 78, including the eight deaths.

Lawrence also announced that the number of persons recovered thus far has increased to 18, and three are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 18 are institutional quarantine and 52 are in isolation.

Of the 519 persons tested so far, 441 are negative.

The Public Health Minister again appealed to Guyanese to comply with the raft of measures that have been instituted. “We need to stop and take stock of this situation; you must adhere to the guidelines provided or we will be in a situation that we cannot control.

Many of you have read the article of the Spanish Flu and how Guyana suffered during that period. And certainly, we do not want a repeat of this,” she said.

Meanwhile, Director of the Mental Health Unit at the Ministry of Public Health,  Dr. Util Thomas advised  Guyanese that first and foremost, that they must talk to someone they trust about their problems, thoughts and feelings.  She asked them to be aware of available help their local community, in the country at large, so that they can solve their problems or overcome challenges.

The Mental Health Director also suggested that Guyanese need to be aware of their strengths that are otherwise regarded as ordinary and unremarkable

Dr. Thomas recommended that people exercise, sleep and eat healthy every day. “These are powerful stress busters and natural anti depressants,” and “if you are taking medications for any pre-existing conditions remember to take them every day as prescribed by your health care provider.”

She said people must not use alcohol and other substances of abuse such as marijuana and cocaine to deal with stressful situations and they should manage the time spent looking or listening to media that can be upsetting and increase your feeling of hopelessness and panic.