Woman with flu-like symptoms dies at GPHC; Coronavirus not confirmed


The Ministry of Public Health is investigating the death of a 52-year-old woman at the Georgetown Public Hospital who presented “flu-like” symptoms when she visited the hospital on Tuesday.

During an impromptu press conference Wednesday at the National Cultural Centre, Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence made it clear that there is no evidence to indicate that the woman died from the new strain of the Coronavirus.

Samples from the woman’s body were sent to the National Reference Laboratory and the results are expected later Wednesday.

Minister Lawrence said this is only a “suspected case” and protocol will be followed.

Director of Medical and Professional Services (MPS) at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Dr Fawcett Jeffery told the media that the female visited the hospital at 17:00hrs Tuesday after returning from Queens, New York and “seemed to have associated flu-like symptoms”; she was also diabetic and hypertensive.

According to Dr Jeffery, the patient collapsed and had to be intubated and resuscitated but she died at around 08:00hrs Wednesday.

He explained that relatives of the woman could not confirm whether she had any contact with anyone who may have the COVID-19 virus.

It was also made clear that the woman did not have a fever when she visited the hospital.

Guyana currently has 26 persons under surveillance for the virus.

With confirmed cases of the newest strain of the Coronavirus in Jamaica, Brazil and French Guiana along with Panama and the United States which have direct flights to Guyana, health practitioners met earlier Wednesday to discuss ways keep the virus at bay.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud told a symposium Wednesday morning that as a result of new countries with confirmed cases, more stringent measures will be put in place for passengers entering Guyana.

Minister Lawrence called for a unified approach to tackle the disease which is responsible for over 4,000 deaths worldwide.

Guyana is currently monitoring 26 persons for symptoms of the virus.

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