Guyana confirms 3 more COVID-19 cases; total now up to 8

Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence

Guyana has confirmed another three cases of the novel coronavirus, bring the total cases here to eight.

This was announced by Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, this morning (March 28, 2020) during a daily update on the Ministry’s facebook page.

Lawrence did not say whether the three new cases are persons related to those already diagnosed. The number of COVID-19 death remains at one.

Guyana confirmed its first imported case of the COVID-19 on March 11 after a 52-year-old woman, who had returned to Guyana days before from New York, died at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Shortly after, four family members of the dead woman were diagnosed with the disease and are currently quarantined at a Ministry of Health facility. These persons include the woman’s husband, two sons and a 13-year-old child – all from Good Hope, East Coast Demerara.

Lawrence further noted that there are now 44 persons who have been tested for the disease.

The PAHO/WHO recently donated 1,100 test kits to the Health Ministry.

Lawrence said the number of persons in institutional quarantine remains at 31 while the number of persons quarantined at home has decreased.

Minister Lawrence said there are now facilities in each of the 10 Administrative Regions in Guyana that will provide for the persons who might be in need of institutional quarantine.

Only Friday, health workers from the West Demerara Regional Hospital protested the failure by authorities to sanitize the hospital especially after there was a suspected COVID-19 death the day before.

The employees are alleging that on Thursday evening, a male died at the facility and it was a suspected case of the novel coronavirus. When contacted, however, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Karen Boyle, indicated that the ‘rumours’ have not been investigated as yet.

But a social media post from the Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara Administration) on Friday stated that staff at the West Demerara Hospital have had direct contact with the suspected COVID-19 patient, who died, and as such they are on self-quarantine, pending the test result.

Further, it was noted that the Hospital has been sanitized two times since the death of the suspected individual.

With the COVID-19 epidemic in great effect, the implementation of greater hygienic practices has been highly recommended to prevent any further spread.

However, the nurses complained of the admission of visitors into the facility without any screening or sanitization, as well as the shortage of supplies at the facility.