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National COVID-19 protocols, experts on the cards- Health Minister

by Samuel Sukhnandan

With a rapidly increasing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Guyana, the new People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government has started working to establish national protocols and plans to utilise several medical experts to help fight the pandemic.

Newly-appointed Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony said these new measures are especially important to help to mitigate the ongoing issue facing the country.

“We have a team of experts who will be helping us to track the scientific changes and if the science changes we will be applying that right here in Guyana. I have also put together a clinical team, a set of doctors, who will start writing national protocols pertaining to clinical care of COVID-19 patients,” he said Wednesday.

Dr. Anthony, a trained public health specialist and former executive director of the Health Sector Development Unit of the same ministry he now heads, noted that those protocols would be able to guide doctors and health specialists across all ten administrative regions of Guyana.

“So, whether they are mild, moderate or severe patients, we are going to standardise the protocol. So a doctor in Essequibo or Berbice or Linden would be following the same protocol and we will try to upgrade those regional hospitals to meet a certain level of standard of care,” he added.

Plans are also being made to set up a telelink to allow doctors in the outlining areas to consult with specialist doctors on a more regular or direct basis.

He said, “In a short while we have been doing quite a lot of work to move this process along and we have also been looking at the level of medications that we have, what is needed and to ensure that the stock of medicines are adequate so we can treat our patients.”

Dr. Anthony has given a commitment to upgrade Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing capacity by increasing the capacity to conduct 300 tests in 24 hours. Government also hopes to provide test kits to the private sector with the aim of increasing their capacity to 200 tests per day.

The health minister said President Dr. Irfaan Ali could be making further announcements on these and other plans to fight COVID-19.