Health Ministry using thermal guns at ports of entry

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Following the first confirmed case of the Novel Coronavirus in Guyana, the Ministry of Public Health is now using thermal guns to measure the temperature of passengers at the various ports of entry.

This was revealed by resident representative for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Guyana, Dr. William Adu-Krow.

The thermal guns or temperature guns are pointed at persons to determine whether they have a fever without touching them. This method of screening passengers has been implemented in several countries around the world.

During an interview with the News Room, Dr. Adu-Krow said “if you have a fever then we pull you aside and we have an instrument –a questionnaire –that we use to measure your risk… and once that person is deemed as high risk, then we determine whether that person needs to have self- quarantine or isolation.”

Guyana’s first case of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) was confirmed on Wednesday after a 52-year-old woman who had Diabetes and Hypertension died at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

The woman of Good Hope, East Coast Demerara (ECD) recently travelled from New York, United States of America which has several confirmed cases.

Resident representative for the WHO in Guyana, Dr. William Adu-Krow

Samples were taken from the woman who died at about 08:00hrs on Wednesday and tested for the COVID-19 at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory. The results were positive and Dr. Adu Krow explained to the News Room that the process was done with step-by-step assistance from the WHO.

“Once they take a sample from the throat, they take it to a room with a big machine that actually extracts the DNA or the RNA –in this case it’s the RNA which is a type of cell which will have the virus –and then there is a machine that will amplify everything in the cell so that it is huge and the test came out conclusively as positive,” he explained.

The symptoms of the novel coronavirus are similar to the common flu, however, it also comes with heaviness and difficulty with breathing.

Dr. Adu-Krow said there should be no need for panic as this is the first global epidemic that can be controlled as long as persons maintain good hygiene.

The WHO has since released a list of myth busters, advice for health workers, advice to protect the workplace and when and how to use face masks.

The Ministry of Public Health has since quarantined all health workers who came in contact with the first confirmed case and the family members who would have lived with or visited her.

Meanwhile, screening remains in place for those persons arriving from Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Brazil, French Guiana, Panama, St. Vincent and the United States of America, the People’s Republic of China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Iran.

The President who made the official announcement of the first case of the COVID-19 in Guyana, sought to discourage public gatherings and non-essential travel.

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