(GUYANA CHRONICLE) – GUYANA has recorded two new cases of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease over the past 24 hours, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 65.
The country had also lost another life to the disease on Saturday, taking the number of deaths to seven.
According to the Ministry of Public Health, 322 persons have been tested so far for the disease of which 257 are negative and the remainder positive. Nine of the infected persons have since recovered and were medically cleared by health authorities.
As a containment measure, health authorities have placed 49 persons in institutional isolation, and 21 in quarantine.
Additionally, four of the infected persons are being treated in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Globally, there are over two million cases of COVID-19, with over 150,000 deaths. And, with no approved treatment or cure, there is no assurance that persons will survive after contracting the disease. In the absence of approved medication, governments and authorities across the world have employed a number of preventative measures to contain the spread of the disease.
Locally, the government had extended its emergency measures to combat the dreaded disease, with the imposition of a 12-hour curfew on citizens. These emergency measures were taken pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) (b) of the directions issued by the President, in accordance with the Public Health Ordinance, Cap. 145, and published in the Official Gazette, Legal Supplement B, on March 16, 2020.
The measures at reference took effect from April 3, 2020, and are expected to last one month, unless earlier terminated, extended or amended by notice of the Minister of Public Health, after an assessment of the prevailing public health conditions.
HELP ON THE WAY
President David Granger, in an address to the nation last Saturday evening, said Guyana is in line to receive approximately 30,000 masks, a number of ventilators and other medical equipment from the People’s Republic of China, as it ups its fight against COVID-19. Added to that, the country has turned to the Government of India for financial assistance.
According to President Granger, the fight requires unprecedented expenditure and outlay of resources to enable identification and testing, isolation, protection and treatment. These added resources will complement systems already in place to suppress the spread of the virus and provide appropriate medical attention.
As the country wages war against the deadly disease, the Head of State said the efforts of the country’s frontline workers, in particular those within the medical field, should not go unnoticed.
“I ask you… to think tenderly of our public health professionals and service providers; that is to say, our doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and all other supporting staff, medical and non-medical, who are providing the required care for those in distress,” President Granger said, adding:
“Public health practitioners are on the frontline of protecting those stricken by the disease; they have been working tirelessly, through this very difficult situation, to provide quality healthcare to those who have been infected and afflicted. Everyone in the public health system has played a vital part in the fight against this disease.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the newly-discovered coronavirus.
The WHO said most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illnesses and recover without requiring special treatment. Older persons and those with underlying medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer, are more likely to develop serious illness.
The WHO believes that the best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well-informed about the virus, the disease it causes and how it is spread.
“Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practise respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow),” the WHO has advised.