As the Ministry of Public Health steps up its efforts to limit the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Guyana, several Ministries and government agencies have implemented preventatives measures to assist in the management of the virus.
Ministry of Education
- All schools closed from March 16-27, 2020.
- Private lessons urged to close to ensure social distancing.
- Schools, MOE buildings will be sanitized.
- NGSA has been postponed, new dates to be provided.
- Parents advised to work with children in preparation of NGSA through MOE’s website, Guyana Learning Channel, radio broadcasts of the Interactive Radio Instruction for Grades 1-3 and NCN Radio.
University of Guyana
- Two-week closure in effect until March 20, 2020.
- Only essential staff in Registry, Bursary, Maintenance, Security and Personnel Divisions will be deployed.
Ministry of Public Health
- Reduce risk of infection by frequently washing hands, exercising safe coughing technique, avoiding close contact with anyone that has a fever or cough.
- Regularly disinfect workspaces on the job.
- Workplaces should advise employees to stay at home if they are showing signs of COVID-19.
- Maintain social distance of at least 3 feet from people, especially those showing signs such as coughing, sneezing and high body temperature (fever).
- Medical masks are not required for general public, but for those persons that cough or sneeze and individuals taking care of someone suspected to have COVID-19.
- Three categories of suspected cases are patients with acute respiratory illnesses, travel history to country reporting local transmission, persons that have been in contact with persons confirmed to have COVID-19.
- COVID-19 can be transmitted to countries, irrespective of weather and climatic conditions.
- Health Emergency Operational Centre (HEOC) met to coordinate response to COVID-19.
- Only the National Public Health Reference Laboratory has the capacity and is authorized to conduct tests for COVID-19.
- Do not visit hospitals nor health centres if you are suspected to have COVID-19. Contact MOPH hotline 227-4986, 226-7480, 229-7490, 231-1166, 624-3069, 624,9355, 624-6674, 624-2819.
- Four quarantine sites implemented in Guyana.
- No more self-quarantine. All suspected, probable, and confirmed cases of COVDI-19, will be quarantined in at a Ministry of Public Health facility.
- An ‘app’ will be established to monitor and evaluate information about the COVID-19.
- Guyanese urged to only rely on credible sites. The World Health Organisation’s website www.who.int/, the Ministry of Health’s website health.gov.gy.com, and the Pan American Health Organisation’s website, www.paho.org.
St Joseph’s Mercy Hospital
- Established a wellness checkpoint.
- All staff, clients and visitors must go through this wellness checkpoint for initial screening to determine any symptoms of COVID-19.
- All staff, clients and visitors will then be asked to wash or sanitize hands with sanitizers provided.
Ministry of Public Infrastructure
- Operations of international flights at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the Eugene F. Correia International Airport suspended for two weeks, beginning from Midnight Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
- Ferry service between Guyana and Suriname suspended from March 14, 2020 until further notice.
Department of Public Service
- Public servants placed on shift system from March 16-17, 2020.
- Managerial staff/Heads of Units to work daily.
- Every Ministry/Department/Region urged to sanitize work environment intermittently during working hours.
- Public servants absent due to mandatory 14-days self-quarantine are to be cleared by medical practitioner prior to resuming duties.
Department of Citizenship
- Persons accessing services will be engaged in smaller groups.
- Members of public visiting the department are to wear masks ONLY if caring for a person suspected to have COVID-19.
Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission
- All field inspections and surveys suspended until further notice.
- Staff who have travelled overseas of have been exposed to other who have travelled will undergo mandatory quarantine as per WHO recommendations.
- Resource desk for clients accessing information of preventative measure established.
- GL&SC has increased cleaning and sanitizing of their offices countrywide and made available hand sanitizers for each staff member and at the entrance of their buildings and all cash registers.
- Established public sinks equipped with soap and disposable towels at the Commission’s head office.
- Mandatory sanitization of hands by staff and visitors required.
- Staff rotation commenced.
- Recommend clients utilise remote services through the GL&SC hotline, website, email and Facebook page and conduct only essential business at their offices.
Guyana Revenue Authority
- All tax related services continue to be offered at headquarters and Integrated Regional Tax Offices (IRTO).
- Taxpayers urged to utilize e-filing services and payment relationships with financial institutions.
- Corporate Quarterly Advance Taxes due on March 16, 2020.
- Quarterly Taxes due April 1, 2020.
- PAYE and VAT due March 13 and March 24, respectively.
- Cashier Sections for all officers (Heaquarters & IRTOs) will be closed during midday periods from March 17-27, 2020.
National Insurance Scheme
- Access to NIS compound limited to persons enchasing vouchers or paying contributions.
- Contribution records can be accessed online via the website nis.org.gy
- Records queries can be done via the NIS live chat platform or email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone numbers 226-8059 or 225-2798.
- Requests for changes or corrections to names along with supporting documents can be placed in drop boxes located at strategic points at the entrances of NIS offices.
Supreme Court of Judicature
- Fumigation and sanitization of court began March 13, 2020.
- Fumigation of other courts to be done on weekends and periodically as necessary.
- Court users are to sanitize their hands upon entering the courts.
- Sanitizers will be placed at entrances and at strategic locations at all courts.
- Judges, Magistrates as well as supervisors of court registries and officers are to provide guidance on attendance of litigants and progress of trials and hearings.
- Those accompanying litigants to cases are advised to stay away from the courts.
- Further remand of prisoners to be conducted via Skype.
- Fact sheets on COVID-19 to be issued to staff and are to be placed at strategic locations around courts.
- Response Team established to deal with the preparedness, response and interaction with public health agencies.
- Review and assessment of situation will be done and updates provided to court users and public.
- Encourage strict adherence to court protocols in light of COVID-19.
Guyana Police Service
- Immigration officers at ports of entry will observe all precautionary measures.
- Increased police presence to deter person from using the back-track route in Region 6.
Guyana Prison Service
- From March 18, 2020, only 1 visit per week allowed for remanded and appellant prisoners.
- Convicted prisoners will continue to have 1 visit per month of 10 minutes duration.
- Between Monday to Friday from 8am-12 noon, persons desirous of lodging monies for prisoners’ Tuck Shop can do so at locations identified outside prisons.
- Items for Mazaruni Prison can be delivered at the Prison Headquarters on Brickdam as per normal.
Regional Democratic Council (Region 9)
- All villages along the border will identify 1 person to monitor.
- All mass gatherings will be halted.
- No permissions for dances and other gatherings will be processed by the Police.
- Rupununi Ranchers Rodeo has been cancelled.
- Only critical staff to report for work at the RDC.
- Hotline established at Lethem Regional Hospital (LRH).
- Quarantine area established at LRH.
- All remote airstrips to be operationlised.
- Travel to and from Brazil to be minimized.
- Conservation International (CI) has suspended all events with villages.
National Sports Commission
- Facilities closed for 2 weeks include the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, National Gymnasium, National Aquatic Center, Colgrain Pool and the National Racquet/Sports Resource Centre.
Protected Areas Commission (PAC)
- Georgetown Zo0 closed from March 17,
2020 until further notice.
- Botanical Gardens and National Park remains open to public.
The Ministry of Public Health is appealing to the general public to remain calm and to implement all the advisories relating to personal hygiene, social distancing and general prevention.