2 more COVID-19 deaths, 362 new cases, 36 in ICU

…appeal made for persons to return for 2nd dose of vaccine

Guyana’s COVID-19 death toll has climbed to 740 with the deaths of two women, aged 58 and 70, on Tuesday. The Health Ministry reported that the 58-year-old woman, from Region One (Barima-Waini), was unvaccinated, while the vaccination status of the 70-year-old, from Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), is unknown.
So far, for September, 115 deaths have been recorded – the highest number of deaths recorded in a single month since Guyana recorded its first Coronavirus case last year March.
On Wednesday, the Health Ministry reported that there were 362 new cases recorded in 24 hours from 1,988 tests. According to the Health Ministry, there are 36 persons in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 163 in institutional isolation, and 3,545 in home isolation.
A breakdown of the new cases follows: three in Region One (Barima-Waini); 16 in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); 111 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); 167 in Region Four (Mahaica-Berbice); 21 in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice); eight in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); 24 in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni); one in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and 11 in Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
Meanwhile, the country has recorded a total 30,186 positive cases since March 2020. However, of this amount 25,702 persons have recovered.
The 30,186 confirmed cases recorded since March 2020 are as follows – Region One: 1442, Region Two: 1063, Region Three: 3902, Region Four: 14,382, Region Five: 1054, Region Six: 2243, Region Seven: 1575, Region Eight: 487, Region Nine: 2305, and Region 10: 1733.
As at Tuesday, there were 4,070 active COVID-19 cases. The cases are distributed as follows – Region One: 72, Region Two: 188, Region Three: 1035, Region Four: 2198, Region Five: 106, Region Six: 106, Region Seven: 160, Region Eight: 70, Region Nine: 47, and Region 10: 88.
Thus far, 350,182 persons, or 68.3 percent of the adult population, have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Moreover, 180,922 persons, or 35.3 per cent of the adult population, are fully vaccinated. Some 21,299 persons, or 29.2 percent of persons between the ages of 12 and 18, have received a first or second dose.

Return for 2nd dose
During Wednesday’s COVID-19 update, Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony appealed to persons to return for their second dose of the Coronavirus vaccine.
“If you are vaccinated, it makes a big difference. Once you are fully vaccinated, your risk of getting infected is lower, your risk of being hospitalised is lower, your risk of dying from COVID is very, very low. But you have to be fully vaccinated,” he stressed.
During the update, Dr. Anthony was questioned whether any of the persons who died this month were awaiting their second dose of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. He responded, “It has nothing to do with that.”
Some 80,000 persons are awaiting their second jab, as there is a worldwide shortage.
“If you look at how many received their first dose and how many received their second dose, you would see a big gap. We have about 80,000 persons awaiting their Sputnik second dose. But not all of them are due, because you have a three-month waiting period,” the Health Minister explained.
According to him, the Russian Direct Investment Fund has been quoted in a Reuters article as saying that persons could go up to 180 days before they take the second dose of the Sputnik V vaccine.
He added, “But what we have seen, there are other persons who would have taken AstraZeneca and they need to come back for their second dose. Those doses are available, but they did not come back for their second dose; similarly with the Sinophram vaccine.
“We need to get a message to people that, ‘If you get your first dose, you need to complete the process by getting both doses’. This is something I have been repeating for the past couple of weeks, because it is not just with Sputnik. It is all the two-dose vaccines where people are not coming back for their second dose.”
In appealing to persons to return for their second jab, Dr. Anthony said, “You are not completing the process. You would not get the full benefits of vaccination if you don’t have both doses. And even when you get both doses, you have to wait 14 days before you are considered to be fully immunised.”
He disclosed that the Government is working assiduously to source the second dose. He related that
Guyana is not in a “unique position” in relation to the vaccine shortage, since 77 other countries are facing the same problem.
“We are working on getting the second dose of Sputnik. There is a global shortage and we are trying our best to get those doses in as fast as we can,” he assured. (G1)