A 52-year-old woman who died at the Georgetown Hospital this morning after being rushed there last night with a respiratory condition has triggered tests for the coronavirus.
The test results are expected this evening. The Ministry of Public Health has indicated that it will make those results public.
The tests were ordered after it was revealed that the woman recently traveled from New York, which has several cases of the virus.
But Health Officials do not believe she was a victim of the coronavirus. Based on her medical record, the unnamed woman suffered from hypertension and diabetes and it is suspected that those two conditions might have triggered her emergency last night.
Health Minister Volda Lawrence and other Health Officials at an emergency press conference reiterated that there is no confirmed case of the coronavirus in Guyana.
However, a decision was made to carry out tests following the woman’s death because she presented some symptoms of the virus, although she did not have a fever.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud and WHO/PAHO Representative Dr. William Adu Krow both said that Guyana is prepared for any possible cases but they are encouraging Guyanese to take more precautions against the virus and practice safe and regular hygiene.
The World Health Organisation earlier today announced that the coronavirus aka COVID 19 has reached the status of a pandemic.
WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside China had increased 13-fold over the past two weeks.
He said he was “deeply concerned” by “alarming levels of inaction” over the virus.
A pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
In South America, Guyana is among a handful of countries with no confirmed cases, while in the Caribbean, at least four countries have confirmed cases with others looking at suspected cases.
The United States has reported more than 1000 cases of the coronavirus with more than 150 of those cases in the New York state. Guyana has daily direct flights from New York.