Reg. 5 ramps up measures to protect residents from COVID-19
Three of the ten administrative Regions in Guyana have not confirmed any positive case of the COVID-19 including Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).
In this regard, Regional Health Officer, Dr. Desmond Nicholson on Monday disclosed some of the precautionary measures being taken by the regional administration to protect residents.
The countermeasures he highlighted during the Ministry of Health’s daily update are:
- Public Health Surveillance; Surveillance is the backbone of public health. Our strategies include early screening, rapid diagnosis and reporting, case management reporting, contact investigations, and the monitoring of trends. To this end, we are involved in robust surveillance reporting and follow-up of each case of Acute Respiratory Illness (ARI) from all health institutions through the RHEOC surveillance team which shares its data with the department of epidemiology, MoPH, and the HEOC on a daily basis.
- Checkpoints: three checkpoints have been established to screen persons entering the region from Regions # 4 and #6. All commuters are screened for elevated body temperatures – this allows for efficient screening, early isolation, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID -19 positive patients.
- Institutional quarantine: we have established a quarantine facility at the experiment health center. It has a capacity of 22 beds – and allows us to safely quarantine those residents who have been exposed to Covid-19. These patients will be monitored daily by our team of medical professionals who will provide the highest level of medical care to all patients at the facility.
- Institutional isolation. Separate wards of the Mahaicony Hospital have been designated for isolation and proper management of covid-19 positive patients.
- Efficient laboratory practices for sample taking and testing: Currently, six staff have been trained in sample taking; testing is done at the National Reference Laboratory – and, turnaround time for results is 24hrs.
- Physical distancing: the department continues to advocate physical distancing of at least 6ft between residents.
- Hygienic measures: frequent handwashing- installation of handwashing stations at all health facilities, offices, businesses and other places where it is observed that residents congregate, biweekly (twice) sanitization of markets, health institutions, and public offices.
- Use of face mask: Each resident advised to use a face mask in public especially when social distancing cannot be achieved successfully.
- Continuation of routine services: To ensure a continuation of routine services we have made strategic shifts relating to staffing at our facilities to ensure that our limited resources provide maximum benefit for the population: Continuation of routine vaccination; reproductive health services; management of mental health conditions as well as noncommunicable diseases and infectious diseases like HIV, malaria and TB.
- Critical inpatient therapies; management of emergency health conditions; auxiliary services like basic diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, and blood bank services, among others, all continue to be offered on a 24-hour basis.
- Do not forget to call our hotline numbers in the event that you suspect you may have covid-19 or have exposed to covid-19.
- Finally, Staff must also comply with the highest standard in precautions, especially in hygiene practices, and are provided with adequate supplies of personal protective equipment to prevent them for becoming infected with covid-19.
- The department urges all residents to observe the national public health guidelines as we work together to defeat covid-19.
The other regions which have not recorded any COVID-19 is 8 and 2, however, the Ministry of Public Health is urging citizens to not take the situation for granted but take all the necessary precautions to protect themselves.
“We are aware that persons residing in the regions where cases have not been reported, are taking this situation for granted instead of taking. We continue to plead that your only protection is ensuring that you wear a mask, maintain physical distance if you are in public but most importantly follow the curfew and other measures that the ministry has in place,” the Ministry said.
As of June 1, there are 153 cases with 12 deaths.