Guyana to Stop Issuing Discharge Certificates to Those in COVID Related Home Isolation

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The Guyana government Tuesday announced the immediate end to the issuing of discharge certificates to people in home isolation, saying that the significant increase in the number of people contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19) had led to a  “clogging up of the system”.

GUYredcrossGuyana Red Cross distributing info on how to stay safe from COVID. (IFRC photo) Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, speaking at the daily COVID-19 Update, told reporters that the Ministry of Health would no longer be issuing the certificates because there are more than 12,000 people currently infected with the virus.

Dr Anthony said the ministry will be unable to issue documents for every person that may come requesting one as it is “clogging up the system.

“When we had two or three persons coming for that discharge certificate, we could go back, look into the results, check and be able to give that certificate. With thousands of persons who have gotten infected…it is extremely difficult to verify the records to be able to issue discharge certificates for everyone.’
Dr. Anthony said that while the document does not provide safety for persons to return to work, however once they have been isolated and are asymptomatic after the isolation period, they could return to work.

“Once you have completed your home isolation, you can go back to work. There’s no need for you to take a discharge certificate.”

He said further, public sector agencies should not require employees to produce clearance certificates to return to work and should private sector entities continue to require the document; other measures will have to be implemented to accommodate for that.

“The private sector…who require such a discharge certificate, maybe those workplaces can make alternative arrangements for their employees to get such a certificate, but we would not be issuing discharge certificates for persons who are in home isolation,” he said, noting however that individuals who have been hospitalized with COVID-19 will be issued a document upon their release.

“The persons who the ministry will issue discharge certificates for are those persons who have been hospitalized. So, if you are in any one of our regional hospitals or the Ocean View hospital, then we Guyana currently has 12,391 active COVID -19 cases across the country and Dr. Anthony said despite having more than 100 patients currently hospitalized there are no shortages of resources to accommodate patients as the public health system.

He said an estimated 390 beds have been set aside for persons who require hospitalization.

“In terms of hospitalization, the ministry in the public health system, we have approximately 389 beds that have been assigned to COVID-19 patients…and based on our current hospitalization right now, we have 141 patients in hospital.  So, as you can see, with the capacity that we have of 389 beds; we’re certainly able to take care of those patients who are in hospital currently.”

He said there were also enough beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Ocean View Hospital. “We also have a capacity at Ocean View in the ICU for about 152 ICU patients and currently our ICU intake is about 18 persons, so we still have some capacity to deal with severely ill patients,” he said, encouraging people to get vaccinated, especially those in the 12 to 17 age group.

As of Tuesday, the ministry recorded 418, 333 or 81.5 percent of the country’s adult population taking the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 35, 194 or 59.5 percent are fully vaccinated.

In the 12 to 17 age group, 31, 861 or 43.7 percent took the first dose and 22, 464 or 30.8 percent are inoculated with both doses.