Mobile Unit tests over 20 persons at Merriman’s Mall for COVID-19

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Over 20 persons were tested for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) within a 24-hour period at the Ministry of Public Health’s mobile testing unit which is now stationed at the Merriman’s Mall in Georgetown.

The operation was launched Monday and will run until Friday from 09:00h to 15:00h.

Family medicine resident, Dr Keon Harmon told the News Room that approximately 30 persons visited the unit during the first two days.

There are currently five employees working at the unit including doctors, nurses and sanitizing personnel.

“This is a mobile testing unit and here we offer free screening to all persons who feel they might be at risk of having COVID-19, these persons are free to come and they go through a brief screening process,” Dr Harmon said.

The Mobile Testing Unit at the Merriman’s Mall [Photo: News Room]
After screening, the doctors will then determine if someone should be tested.

Swabbing is done at the site but the actual testing is sent to the Ministry of Public Health reference laboratory.

Once the results are back, the National Health Emergency Operations Centre (NHEOC) surveillance team will contact the patient.

However, persons can uplift their certificate of clearance at the mobile unit once tested negative for COVID-19.

When the News Room visited the mobile testing site Tuesday, a patient was relieved to have received his negative result and certificate of clearance in order to return to work.

The staff at the mobile unit is also taking all the safety protocols; the area and every surface are being sanitized routinely. The employees are also sprayed with disinfectant after testing patients.

The employees are also sprayed with disinfectant after testing patients. [Photo: News Room]
“If we had to touch the patient or perform the test we would decontaminate ourselves,” Dr Harmon said.

Dr Harmon highlighted that persons do not have to present with any symptoms to be tested.

“Screening doesn’t only have to do with the symptoms the patient present with, but it also have to do with the contact history of persons, so if persons feel that they might have been in contact with someone who might have tested positive for COVID-19 even though they themselves might not be experiencing any symptoms this is also considered so the test may be applied to such a person.”

Family medicine resident, Dr Keon Harmon [Photo: News Room]
Most of Guyana’s positive cases are attributed to persons who do not display symptoms.

The mobile testing location is chosen based on the prevalence of cases. The unit was stationed at Station Street, Kitty, East la Penitence and Sophia prior to Merriman’s Mall.

As of May 11, 2020, Guyana recorded five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 109.

On the East Coast, positive cases were reported in Atlantic Gardens, Friendship, Golden Grove, Good Hope, Lusignan, Plaisance, Strathsphey and at Diamond, Grove, Land of Canan, Timehri and Providence on the East Bank.

Central Georgetown continues to be the epicenter with the positive cases identified coming from the following communities; in the north of Georgetown: Kitty, Sophia, Turkeyen, Liliendaal, Cummings Lodge, Alberttown and Cummingsburg.

In the south of Georgetown: Bourda, Lamaha Park, South Ruimveldt and Thirst Park.

Region 4 has the highest number of confirmed cases.

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