Deputy CMO says some COVID-19 patients deliberately refusing to share info on contacts

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Karen Gordon-Boyle

The Public Health Ministry has said that some patients are deliberately not cooperating with authorities when providing information on whom they’ve had contact with.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Karen Gordon-Boyle in an interview with INews related that while some patients cooperate fully, others give the Ministry a hard time by withholding information.

“There’s room for improvement with contact-tracing. Some persons are not willing to share their information in terms of where they’ve been and whom they’ve been with. I don’t think they recognise the importance of them cooperating, so that we can do our jobs,” Dr Gordon-Boyle said.

“You have to get that kind of information from them, but it’s been a struggle, very hard for some people. Other people understand and are very responsible, forthcoming, and they tell us their various contacts and we’re able to go after them,” she explained.

According to Dr. Gordon-Boyle, there isn’t much Public Health authorities can do about the situation, besides doing their own investigations and also sensitising the public on the issue. She noted that, in some cases, persons would willingly walk in and admit that they’ve had contact with someone diagnosed with the coronavirus.

As at April 22, 2020, Guyana had 67 cases of coronavirus infections and seven deaths. So far, 348 persons have been tested, with 281 turning up negative. There are 50 persons in institutional isolation, 17 in institutional quarantine, and three in the Intensive Care (ICU). However, there have been 10 cases of recovery.