Over 100 persons arrived from China this year; hotline not yet working


As authorities look to prevent the new coronavirus from spreading to Guyana, it has urged those who arrived in the country from China since the start of the year to call a hotline number if they develop symptoms, but the hotline is not yet in operation.

The News Room understands that over 100 persons arrived in Guyana from China between January 1-31, 2020.

On Friday last, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that should flu-like symptoms arise within 14 days after return to Guyana from China or another highly affected country, persons are asked to call the hotline on 227 8683 ext 215.

That hotline is actually the number for the National AIDS Programme Secretariat. The person answering the phone said she has not yet received any information and would receive it later in the day so persons should call back later in the week.

When News Room checked the hotline a second time, the person answering the phone said they would transfer us to “someone big.” That person said they did not have any information on the coronavirus as we were calling the National AIDS Programme.

The Foreign Ministry said persons arriving in Guyana from China, will be subject to quarantine protocols and may be quarantined in a health facility or at home, depending on the outcome of the risk assessment.

All recent travellers from China (after Jan 1st) already in Guyana have been asked to contact their nearest health Centre or hospital urgently AND to remain at home for 14 days after the date of arrival.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Chinese authorities have confirmed that the new virus, Novel Coronavirus, is similar to the virus that causes the common cold, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome).

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