Granger confirms death by COVID-19
GEORGETOWN – Guyana became the third Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to record a case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last 24 hours, following Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
President David Granger in a radio and television broadcast on Wednesday night confirmed that a woman who had been taken to the Georgetown Public Health Corporation (GPHC) on Tuesday night had died of the virus that has killed more than 4 000 people across more than 110 countries, since it was first detected in China last December.
“Guyanese, it is my sad duty to announce Guyana confirmed its first imported case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Georgetown on Wednesday 11th March 2020. The patient has been identified as a 52-year-old Guyanese female who had travelled from the United States of America, which has reported cases of COVID-19.
“She arrived in the country on 5th March, presented to the public health system on 10th March and was found to have uncontrolled Diabetes and Hypertension. She subsequently died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation at 08:00 hours on 11th March,” Granger said.
He said that health professionals sought to conduct tests for COVID-19 based on the patient’s travel history and that a clinical sample was collected and sent to the National Reference Laboratory, where laboratory test confirmed the diagnosis.
“The patient’s infection is classified an imported case. Measures are being taken to prevent the risk of community spread,” Granger said, adding that the measures include the dispatch of a health team to the home of the deceased for assessment and initiation of public health prevention measures as well as the identification and contact tracing for all possible exposed persons.
He said that health officials would be meeting with the staff of the hospital and there would be the implementation of necessary interventions.
Granger said that screening remains in place for those persons arriving from high-risk countries, like – Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, French Guiana, Panama, St. Vincent and Grenadines and the United States as well as travel bans from persons originating from China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Iran.
“I advise, further, that public gatherings be discouraged (and) non-essential travel be discouraged,” he said, adding that competent agencies continue to patrol irregular border crossings and there has been enhanced sensitization of key personnel at all air and seaports.
Granger said that the Ministry of Public Health has designated three quarantine facilities and others will be identified. (CMC)