Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is proud to commemorate the third anniversary of the Ocean View Infectious Disease Hospital, which has played a pivotal role in Guyana’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the care of infectious disease patients.
In March 2020, Guyana experienced its first case of COVID-19, a moment that brought both uncertainty and resolve. Sadly, it also marked the country’s first recorded COVID-19 fatality. At that time, GPHC embarked on an unprecedented journey to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead.
The hospital’s preparations in January 2020 were a mere glimpse of the reality that awaited. Due to the infectious nature of COVID-19, a provisional 14-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was established to cater to critically ill patients. To accommodate this, several hospital departments had to be temporarily closed, highlighting the hospital’s commitment to addressing the pandemic’s demands.
As cases continued to surge, preparations were made to convert the Ocean View hotel into a dedicated COVID-19 hospital, marking a transformative moment in the battle against the virus. On September 1st, 2020, the first group of stable COVID-19 patients, initially maternity patients, were transferred to the Ocean View Infectious Disease Hospital.
The ICU capacity at this facility catered for to 28- beds and then 38-beds, accommodating critical patients requiring ventilation. Additionally, the facility also housed moderately ill patients while also providing essential services such as dialysis, surgical interventions (including c-sections for pregnant mothers, trauma, and paediatric surgeries), physiotherapy, and physiological support for COVID-19 patients.
Addressing staffing challenges posed by the pandemic, GPHC rallied medical staff from its own ranks, the Ministry of Health, and other regions like Linden to work as frontline healthcare heroes. Decontamination stations were established within the hospital to ensure staff safety. Moreover, recognizing the difficulties some staff faced with public transportation due to virus-related fears, GPHC provided housing and transportation assistance for some.
As of this milestone, while COVID-19 is no longer considered a pandemic, the Ocean View Infectious Disease Hospital continues to care for a limited number of COVID-19 patients, as well as patients with other infectious diseases such as monkeypox, tuberculosis, MRSA, along with GPHC lodgers.
Since its inception in 2020, the Ocean View Infectious Disease Hospital has served 4,448 patients, with a peak of 112 hospitalized COVID-19 patients at one time. Over the years, approximately 50 dedicated medical staff members have worked tirelessly within its walls.
Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation acknowledges and extends its deepest gratitude to all frontline workers, staff, and partners who have made the Ocean View Infectious Disease Hospital a symbol of resilience and hope in the face of adversity.