Opposition says home isolation leading to increased COVID-19 infections

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There are over 800 persons with COVID-19 in home isolation and the Opposition believes this is the leading cause of the significant increase in positive cases of the disease and deaths.

Speaking a media briefing on Wednesday, APNU Executive member and former Minister of Health Dr. Karen Cummings explained that persons are not adhering to the protocols for home isolation.

“…the Minister of Health is hoping that approximately 9 in every 10 persons with coronavirus in Guyana will stay safely at home, and keep away from family, friends and strangers at all times while wearing a face mask all day once they are not sleeping.”

“It is wishful thinking of the Minister of Health, that he expects home isolated patients to stay home, not infect their families, and not die,” the former Health Minister said.

She advocated for each patient to be given a package of sanitary items and whatever is needed to protect others in the house from getting infected; in cases where there are many persons living together, Dr. Cummings said they should be moved to a Government facility.

She said the Government should ensure persons at home “have their sufficient masks to change, want to ensure they are disposing of their infectious waste [properly]. You will want to give them bin liners, you will have to ensure they have sufficient [sanitizing liquids] so that they can sanitise their furniture and so. So you have to give them like a package to ensure they can go home and continue treatment at home.”

Dr. Cummings said the Government is saving large sums of money from having persons home isolate, as such, the Health Ministry can afford to provide the items to those persons.

“…on average the Government saves about $24,500 a day for every COVID-19 case that is on home isolation,” Dr Cummings said since the Ministry does not have to provide equipment, healthcare and other necessities to COVID-19 patients who are at home.

Persons without symptoms are asked to isolate at home since the World Health Organisation (WHO) has determined that these persons do not have the capacity to spread the virus.

At the start of October, Guyana recorded 2,929 cases; on Wednesday, that moved to 3,850 while the number of deaths has moved from 84 to 116.

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