2 Region Six men succumb to COVID-19

Two men from Region Six have died after contracting the COVID-19 disease, the Health Ministry on Monday reported.
Now, the country has 1283 reported fatalities to date. The latest deaths are a 96-year-old and a 43-year-old – both of whom succumbed on November 20. One was unvaccinated while the status of the other is unknown.
There were four new cases reflected in the dashboard, which showed 71,545 confirmed cases. This translates to 32,802 males and 38,743 females.
Five persons are in institutional isolation while 81 are in home isolation. To date, Guyana has seen 70,172 recoveries.

Symptomatic persons who have been using self-testing kits but experiencing a negative result have been asked to continue testing, since the sensitivity of this test varies.
Home test kits for COVID have been widely used in recent time, given its convenience. However, it was shared on Monday by Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony that sensitivity and specificity of the test can vary.
This means there are times when a person can be positive but it would not be detected with the test.
In this light, he advised, “Persons here in Guyana who has been testing themselves at home, if you have flu-like symptoms and you’ve tested negative, it is advisable that you continue testing for at least two to three days to make sure that you’re not positive.”

A self-testing kit

According to the Health Minister, there is enough PCR testing kits and persons can visit the health facilities to be tested. However, there is still the challenge of low testing rates, since people are not showing up to be tested.
“If there is any doubt, the test that is more accurate would be the PCR test and you can come into any one of our facilities and the sample will be taken. We would be able to run those tests at our laboratories…We have a lot of kits because we have been preparing for testing and so forth.”
“The challenge that we currently have is that people are not coming to be testing. If people don’t come to be tested, then it is hard to understand what is going on with the pandemic in Guyana,” he added.
Criteria for testing remains open in Guyana. Anyone who feels at risk for COVID, may have been in contact with an infected case or is displaying associated symptoms can be swabbed.
In Guyana, 90 active cases are being monitored inclusive of eight persons in hospital. Four persons are in the Intensive Care Unit. A breakdown of these infections reflects one in Region Two, four in Region Three, 68 in Region Four, two in Region Five, seven in Region Six, one in Region Seven and seven in Region Nine.
“The presentation that we’re seeing now is that there are persons who would get really sick, would require hospitalisation and when we bring them in, very often they would need ICU care. This has been happening over the last week or so. We have noticed that some patients are really coming in severely ill.”
Among the persons requiring intensive care, the Ministry has reported that a few are not vaccinated while the status of some cannot be determined. Greater emphasis was placed on the data which shows that vaccination protects against the severe form of the virus.
Dr Anthony urged, “If people have not gotten their first and second dose, it is not too late to come and get it. If you’ve gotten your first and second dose, but you didn’t get your booster shot, now is the time. We want to encourage people to do that.”
Most people would have a mild form of the infection but the elderly and others with comorbidities stand a higher risk for a more severe form of COVID. (G12)