Govt sees achievements in fight against Covid-19 – Health Minister

Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health

The Ministry of Health says there have been considerable achievements to date in its efforts to curb the deadly COVID-19 disease.

Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony on Thursday said the regions have been doing well in containing the disease, even as he acknowledged that there would be spikes in infections.

“When we look at the spread of the virus in different regions of Guyana, we have seen that in some cases there were spikes and we were able to control it, and that speaks to the kind of public health measures that we have put in place,” Minister Anthony said.

The Minister explained, during his daily COVID-19 Update, that there are several success stories.

For example, he noted there had been a reduction in positive cases in Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo (Region Nine).

“At one time, we had close to 100 active cases, and right now, we have reduced that to about six active cases. And you would see those variabilities in different regions. At times there are little spikes, and then once all the public health measures are put in place, you would see a slowing of transmission.”

Because of the rapid increase in testing in Region Nine, many cases were discovered, the Minister said.

In Region One, Kwebanna is among the most COVID-19 affected villages. A health team will be dispatched to the Region to boost the medical workforce there, as had been done in Region Nine.

Once someone is tested positive, they will be isolated at home. Contact tracing is done, and their relatives are informed about how to protect themselves. In some cases, they are provided with PPEs and other necessary equipment.

Strict mechanisms are also implemented to monitor persons entering and leaving the community.

“Once you put those measures in place, within two to three weeks you would see the number of cases going down because we have had similar experiences with other villages and we know these methods that we are using have really worked and worked very well,” the Minister said.

Dr. Anthony also said the interventions implemented to date have lessened the challenges of dealing with the disease. There is now sufficient capacity to conduct tests at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory, which has been boosted with three Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines.

The extractors installed is an automated process, as opposed to the former manual process.

The Ministry was also successful in procuring adequate test kits and reagents to ensure there are sufficient stocks available.

Minister Anthony reiterates the call for Guyanese to do their part to reduce transmission of the disease. He explained that merely wearing a mask and sanitising or washing your hands thoroughly can reduce transmission. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]