Coronavirus: All public schools remain open in Guyana

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Coronavirus: All public schools remain open in Guyana
Two Guyanese women taking precaution against the virus in downtown Georgetown Thursday, March 12, 2020. [Photo: Richard Jagdeo/News Room]

Two Guyanese women taking precaution against the virus in downtown Georgetown Thursday, March 12, 2020. [Photo: Richard Jagdeo/News Room]
(NEWS ROOM GUYANA) – The Ministry of Education has advised that all public schools in Guyana remain open and is urging persons to take the necessary precautions as advised by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in relation to the Coronavirus.

Guyana recorded its first case and death of the virus on Wednesday at the Georgetown Public Hospital. A 52-year-old woman from Good Hope, East Coast Demerara tested positive for the virus after she died at the hospital.

She had arrived in Guyana from Queen’s New York on March 7 on Caribbean Airlines Flight, BW 521.

The Ministry of Education released the following checklist for Teachers and Staff:

Plan and Prepare

Promote and demonstrate regular hand washing and positive hygiene behaviours. Ensure adequate, clean and separate toilets for girls and boys
– Ensure soap and safe water is available at age-appropriate hand washing stations

– Encourage frequent and thorough washing (at least 20 seconds)

– Place hand sanitizers in toilets, classrooms, halls, and near exits where possible

Clean and disinfect school buildings, classrooms and especially water and sanitation facilities at least once a day, particularly surfaces that are touched by many people (railings, lunch tables, sports equipment, door and window handles, toys, teaching and learning aids etc.)
– Use sodium hypochlorite at 0.5% (equivalent 5000ppm) for disinfecting surfaces and 70% ethyl alcohol for disinfection of small items, and ensure appropriate equipment for cleaning staff

Increase air flow and ventilation where climate allows (open windows, use air conditioning where available, etc.)
Post signs encouraging good hand and respiratory hygiene practices
Ensure trash is removed daily and disposed of safely
Encourage students to stay home if sick. If your student gets sick at school, keep the sick student away from well students until picked up. Encourage your student to stay home if they are sick with any illness.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects in the classroom
(Adopted from WHO/PAHO, UNICEF and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)

Guidelines for Parents

PLAN AND PREPARE

Practice and reinforce good prevention habits with your family
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Keep your child at home if sick with any illness
If your child is sick, keep them at home and contact your healthcare provider.

Talk with teachers about classroom assignments and activities they can do from home to keep up with their schoolwork.

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