More than 50 persons arrived from China since January; one unaccounted for


Chief Medical Officer Dr Shamdeo Persaud on Wednesday disclosed that more than 50 persons arrived in Guyana from China and were screened for the new coronavirus but he said a European national who travelled through China has been “lost,” with health authorities unable to locate the passenger for screening.

Persaud said that since January 18, more than 40 persons were screened for the coronavirus. Of that number 33 were Chinese nationals.

Dr Persaud assured that most of them did not present any high risk of the virus but four persons reported not feeling well; however, according to Dr Persaud, these persons did not have any signs or symptoms of the virus.

He said that doctors from the Georgetown and Linden hospitals visited those four persons at home and cleared them of any signs of the virus.

Prior to January 18, a total of 17 persons had arrived in Guyana from China and Dr Persaud said he Health Ministry was able to track down most of them down, with the exception of a European national who travelled through China.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shamdeo Persaud

“We lost one person to follow up. We weren’t able to make contact with that person but when we further checked it was a European,” Dr Persaud said.

While everyone who was screened did not show any signs of the virus they were still placed under home isolation for 14 days.

“Once we screen them, check their temperatures, take some history on signs and symptoms and then we classify them;  so far we have had more than 40 persons screened and of those none of them actually presented with any symptoms to be isolated.”

Should a serious case arrive in the country, Dr Persaud said the country has the capacity to handle the virus and have set up an isolation unit at the Georgetown Public Hospital, the Diamond Diagnostic Centre and notified private hospitals to do the same.

“Georgetown hospital has a 14-bed unit – seven male, seven females – that is on standby. All the staff are prepared, we have the equipment needed.

“There is no specific antiviral for coronavirus; supportive care is needed at this point in time we have the essential medicine that is necessary,” Dr Persaud said.

He said health authorities are working closely with companies and airlines and will continue to monitor all arrivals from China.

“We continue to monitor all arrivals from China and for persons who have travelled from other countries through china, once travel from china is involved we first of all flag them by immigration authorities as they arrive in Guyana at any one of the ports at this point in time.

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