702 calls made to flu hotline

HSA urges patients to ‘call before you come’

Health Services Authority forensic laboratory.
Cayman Islands hospital, George Town.

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A total of 170 people have made use of the Health Services Authority’s flu clinic, which was created to separate patients with respiratory conditions from the general public as part of government’s COVID-19 response.

Health Services Authority CEO Lizette Yearwood shared the numbers as she addressed government’s coronavirus briefing on Wednesday.

“We’ve been asking persons, if you have flu symptoms to stay at home and then call the flu hotline, and the advice and direction will be given as to who needs to be seeking medical attention, and that is in keeping with the curfew that we now have in place,” Yearwood said.

She said HSA is pleased with the public’s response.

“So far, we have seen the evidence that people are compliant with those instructions. We started the flu hotline on 14 March and we’ve had 702 calls so far. These are persons who have had minimal symptoms or maybe just had queries as to whether or not they meet the criteria for testing,” she said.

Since 16 March, 170 people attended the flu clinic, she said.

Yearwood said there has been an increase in the number of calls to the flu hotline.

However, “we’ve seen a reduction [in] persons actually seeking medical attention and this is good news for us because it indicates that the symptoms are relatively mild. Even though persons are feeling ill, they’re relatively mild [symptoms] and [they] do not need to seek medical attention,” Yearwood said.

She added that the flu hotline is open 24 hours a day and anyone can call it as many times as needed. She said the HSA has a strict policy on who can now visit the hospital.

“If you have [flu-like] symptoms, stay at home and call the flu hotline, and that flu hotline is the same for all of three islands. If you are coming to seek medical attention, you have to call ahead,” she said. “That is whether or not you’re coming to the flu clinic, a private hospital or a doctor’s office or here or on the Sister Islands or after-hours for A&E.”

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, contact your private general health practitioner or call the HSA Flu Hotline on 1-800-534-8600 or 947-3077 or email [email protected].

Full coverage: Coronavirus

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