Jagdeo calls on health authorities to protect Guyanese from Coronavirus

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has called on the Ministry of Public Health to put systems in place to protect Guyanese from the Coronavirus outbreak which has so far killed 17 people and affected 630 in China.

“I should start by urging the health authorities of our country, particularly at the technical level to pay serious attention to the Coronavirus. We’ve all seen the news of this outbreak and the rapid spread of the virus to several countries in Asia, in recent we’ve seen cases reaching the Americas,” Jagdeo said at his press conference Thursday.

Imported cases of the virus have also been detected in other countries including Thailand, Republic of Korea and the United States of America (USA).

The Opposition Leader added that “the virus has the potential of meeting epidemic proportions and therefore we should be ready as a country to address this situation.”

The Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) is expected to address the issue at a press conference on Monday. The press conference was scheduled for Friday but has since been postponed.

The previously unknown strain of the Coronavirus is believed to have emerged late last year from illegally traded wildlife at an animal market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Several cities have restricted movement in order to stop the spread. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in a statement on Thursday said the risk of contracting the virus in Caribbean countries is low.

CARPHA said it is monitoring developments and working closely with its international health partners provide timely advice and support to the preparedness activities of Caribbean Member States.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

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