Guyana addressing COVID-19 at three levels – Minister Anthony

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Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony has said that Guyana is continuing to ramp up its response to COVID-19 pandemic.

During a recent interview with the DPI, he disclosed that the National COVID-19 Task Force is dealing with the disease at three levels: the policy level, the health response and the socioeconomic response.

“It is not only medical response, but also these other responses that can help people through this pandemic,” Minister Anthony explained.

At the policy level, the Task Force examines the trends of the epidemic, the hotspot locations, and the current situation. This epidemiological data is used to develop proposals on new guidelines.  These proposals are then used to advise the Government on the next step in managing the disease.

The health response is generated at the Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC). The HEOC equips hospitals with the necessary gear and medications so that they can treat everyone who accesses their services.

The health response also encompasses testing, treatment and surveillance in terms of knowing the location of persons who tested positive; how they are isolating if they are symptomatic; whether they are improving or experiencing severe symptoms (respiratory distress) that will require hospitalisation.

Dr. Anthony said the many businesses which have experienced an economic downturn and even those that have been forced to close down could also benefit from several tax relief measures.

As Guyana takes the necessary steps to curb the disease, His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali announced a number of COVID-19 relief measures, including a $25,000 per household cash transfer grant. Additionally, the 2020 Emergency Budget caters to meeting the needs of the new COVID-normal Guyanese society. Further still, the Government has since amended several laws to remove taxes in some cases so that people could have more disposable income.

Minister Anthony is urging the public to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols in place to stop the disease from spreading. (Extracted and modified from DPI)