In light of the increased rainfall and the possibility of flooding in coastal and outlying areas, as we also respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Ministry of Public Health is advising the general public to pay special attention to your health, special precautions, personal hygiene, vector control, food and water safety and general public health.
The Ministry advises:
That if you are living in flood prone areas and there is any flooding, stay out of the water as much as possible, as it can greatly reduce your chances of contracting diseases such as skin infections, Leptospirosis, Diarrhea and other water-borne diseases. Direct contact with flood waters can expose you to several germs that can lead to any of these diseases. Keep children out of the water as they are most at risk of contractingdiseases. Avoid swimming in flooded canals and trenches. During the rainy season and floods these become contaminated and can make you sick.
During the rainy season, repertory infection including COVID-19 and other repertory condition can occurs and may become worse. Be extra cautious with all hygiene measures and ensure that you cover your cough. Daily intake of fruits and vegetable high in vitamin C can help to maintain a healthy immune system and enhance your ability to fight infection.
If you must venture into any area with flood waters, use protective gear such as long boots, gloves and eye protection. Prepare a foot bath of ½ cup of bleach to one bucket of water and wash your feet before entering the house. Apply Vaseline or oil to your skin as it forms a barrier and provides some protection from the dirty water.
During rainfall you may notice an increase in mosquitoes. Protect yourself and family against mosquitoes by sleeping under mosquito nets, use mosquito repellents and coils. Ensure that all water stored around your homes incontainersis covered to reduce the breeding of mosquitoes. Remember, the mosquito that spreads Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya virus breeds in fresh still water (especially rain water) around your home.
Use safe water for drinking, cooking, brushing your teeth,making ice and beverages. Safe water is water that is treated with chlorine bleach (add 1/2 teaspoon to 5 gallons bucket of water, cover and let the water stand for 30 minutes before using ); water boiled for at least 5 minutes, cool and store in covered containersor sealed bottled water.
Keep food supplies away from contact with any flood water. Flood water can contaminate food supplies including dry groceries, vegetables, fruits, cooked foods and beverages.Discard all foods that have been in contact with flood waters safely by placing in a plastic bag and deposit in covered bins.
Wash all fruits and vegetables with treated safe water and peel before eating. Remember to keep all food items and drinking water in covered containers
Cook food thoroughly and consume cooked meals within two hours of preparation. Store all remaining food safely in a refrigerator and reheat thoroughly before consuming.
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and safe water or use hand sanitizers, especially before eating meals, after going to the toilet or latrine, cleaning children or handling animals and contaminated materials.
Use the safe toilets or latrines to defecate and dispose of baby’s diapers in your covered bins. Do not mess or let feces get into the flood waters, drains ortrenches.
Secure of all household waste and other garbage in plastic bags and store in bins until these are properly removed to approved landfill sites. Keep garbage bins covered to prevent pests such as mosquitoes, flies, rats and roaches from entering. Do not dump garbage in drains, trenches, canals and illegal dumping areas around your community.
Watch out for animals coming into your homes. Rats, roaches, snakes, centipedes and other pests that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Keep doors and windows closed or screened to prevent them from entering your homes.
Turn off the main electrical switch and unplug all appliances and move them to safe areas of your homes if your home is under water. If you suspect electrical wiring have been damaged in your home, turn off the main and have it checked by a qualified person before turning on back the power.
Secure all important equipment, supplies, medicines, clothing and other items in safe spaces in your homes. Place important documents and valuables in plastic and store them in a safe place.
Remember to continue to observer social distancing of at least 6ft away from others and all the other prevention measures such as washing your hands, covering your nose and mouth while in public with a face mask or cloth cover and observe the curfew.
If you or any family member experiences any fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash, cuts, sticks, bruises or other conditions, please seek medical attention immediately. Call the national or regional hot-lines or contact your nearest health care facility or health provider for guidance on obtaining all the essential services you may need.
For more information call:
Ministry of Public Health on Telephone Numbers: 226-1224 or 225-1263
COVID-19 Hot Line Numbers: 180/181
Visit us on our website www.health.gov.gy or visit us on facebook, Instagram or twitter @ Ministry of Public Health- Guyana. #mophguyana