2 more persons succumb to COVID-19

…persons jumping vaccine queue will be penalised – Minister

Two women on Sunday succumbed to the coronavirus disease, increasing Guyana’s death toll to 203.
The Health Ministry informed on Monday that the latest fatalities are a 69-year-old from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and a 64-year-old from Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice). Both women had tested positive for COVID-19 and died while receiving medical care.
On Saturday, the last fatality was announced after a 57-year-old male from Region Four also succumbed at a medical facility.
Positive cases also increased by seven and the total confirmed cases have now climbed to 8814. The data showed that 8171 patients have recovered after 4357 males and 4277 females tested positive for the life-threatening virus. The new cases emerged from 354 samples that were sent for testing.
According to the Ministry’s dashboard, there are eight persons in the designated Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 389 in home isolation, 43 in institutional isolation and 38 in institutional quarantine.
From the new cases, five were detected in Region Four and two in Region Five (Demerara-Mahaica).

Jumping queue
With the tranches of 100,000 vaccines received within the past week from China and India, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said the country can vaccinate at least 50,000 persons. The plan is to move ahead with vaccines for healthcare workers from both the public and private sectors. The older population, mainly 60 years and above, will follow after along with individuals suffering from comorbidities.
“We are going to offer it first of all to healthcare workers across the country and to make sure that they get these vaccines first. The reason being is that healthcare workers are at higher risks because they interact with the public, they interact with a lot of sick people and there’s that possibility that they themselves can become infected with a person who has COVID. So, we want to make sure that they’re properly immunised,” he shared.
The Minister cautioned that if persons are found jumping the queue to get vaccinated, strict penalties will be brought against them. This is since the high-risk groups are being prioritised to suit the limited doses. Once the other 100,000 jabs are received this month from the COVAX mechanism, they can open to accommodate more persons.
“We want to make sure that we’re able to prioritise these vaccines to people who need them the most and who are most at risk. Eventually, we’ll get vaccines to everyone in the country but at this stage, as we get a limited amount, we want to make sure that we give it to the right priority groups.”
The Ministry is also considering a request for parliamentarians to be vaccinated with this current tranche.
All Guyanese are reminded to observe the protocols of the COVID-19 Emergency Measures (No 15), which are in effect until March 31, 2021. This order emphasises the need for correct and consistent use of a face mask when leaving home; the importance of maintaining the six feet physical distance from others and the need for good hand hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. (G12)