… “act sensibly” during holidays – Health Minister urges
Another unvaccinated person who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has died, according to the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
This latest fatality is a 69-year-old female from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), who died on December 22.
Her death has taken the total number of deaths in Guyana from the pandemic to 1040. Additionally, the COVID-19 death toll for the month of December is now at 41.
Meanwhile, 40 more persons have contracted the deadly virus, taking the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Guyana to 38,966.
However, only 712 of these are currently active cases. Those include eight patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the remaining 704 persons in isolation; that is, 28 in institutional isolation and the other 676 in home insolation. There are five more persons in institutional quarantine.
To date, some 37,214 persons have recovered from the life-threatening disease – 41 more recoveries than the figure previously reported.
Moreover, 415,178 persons have been tested for the novel coronavirus to date in Guyana, and of this, 18,383 males and 20,583 females were found to be positive.
Of the 40 new cases detected on Wednesday, three were from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), 14 were from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), another four were from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), 13 were from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), two were from Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), one was from Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and the remaining three cases were from Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
There were no new cases recorded in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) on Wednesday.
While active cases have decreased, the Government of Guyana is encouraging persons to adhere to the various COVID-19 guidelines in order to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
In fact, during his update on Wednesday, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony urged persons to ensure they act responsibly and adhere to the various COVID-19 protocols to protect themselves, especially during the holidays, when COVID-19 infections are likely to spike, and with the omicron variant looming.
“I think people would have to act sensibly, and to act sensibly means that you would have to take on personal responsibility; and that is, to at all times wear your masks in public, especially if you are in crowded indoor areas… You should also use sanitizers, specially sanitizing your hands, because, when you touch surfaces, you can come in contact unknowingly with the virus. And of course, social distancing, which seems to be a very difficult thing to do during this holiday period… But that’s not taking on personal responsibility, that’s being highly irresponsible,” Dr Anthony stated.
According to the Health Minister, these measures are especially important with the omicron variant looming.
Moreover, he pointed out that another way of protection against this “highly transmissible” variant is vaccination. To this end, Dr Anthony disclosed that the current adult vaccination numbers have gone up since the COVID-19 vaccination exercise was launched back in February.
So far, some 409,582 persons, or 79.8 per cent of the adult population, have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 57 per cent or some 292,173 persons who are 18 years and older are fully immunised.
As it relates to adolescents, some 30,131 persons, or 41.3 per cent of children between the ages of 12 and 17, have been administered first doses, of which 29.4 per cent, or 21,412 of them, are fully vaccinated.
Government commenced administering booster shots to the adult population last month, and so far, about 10,076 persons have received their booster dose.
Minister Anthony explained that while the overall national figure is looking good, the country’s regional vaccination performance is lagging.
“We still see discrepancies in the regions. We still see Region 10 lagging, we still see Region Eight lagging, we still see Region Two lagging. So, they are all way below the national average for the first dose and second dose. And, of course, we’re also seeing that with booster doses,” he noted.
To this end, the Health Minister is appealing with persons to ensure they get vaccinated, to protect themselves against the deadly virus.
“One way to keep yourself safe is to get vaccinated,” Dr Anthony stressed.
Nevertheless, as more people continue to get vaccinated, authorities are urging the public to continue observing all COVID-19 preventative measures, particularly masking in public, social distancing, and frequent hand washing and sanitising.
The measures also include vaccination requirements to access any public building such as restaurants, places of worship, schools, as well as Government buildings. There is also a midnight to 04:00h curfew in place. (G8)