3 more COVID-19 fatalities, 111 new cases recorded

Guyana has recorded a whopping 591 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic started – three of which were reported as of Friday by the Health Ministry.
The latest fatalities are two males; a 74-year-old and an 80-year-old; along with an 89-year-old female.
An updated dashboard showed cases increasing by 111, hiking the total confirmed to 24,047. There are 16 patients being monitored in the Intensive Care Unit, 100 in institutional isolation, 1088 in home isolation and three in institutional quarantine.
Some 22,252 of the 11,674 males and 12,373 females that tested positive have since recovered. Guyana has tested 251,230 persons since the virus was detected here.
An analysis of new cases showed three from Region One (Barima-Waini), five in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), 21 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), 48 in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), three in Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice), four in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), 23 in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and four in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
There were no increases in Regions Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Eight (Potaro-Siparuni).

Low vaccination rate
Even with increased sensitisation on the risks unvaccinated people face in the wake of new variants, there is still a slow vaccine uptake in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) – a serious concern for authorities.
In Friday’s COVID-19 update, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony informed that the national average for first dose vaccines is 58.1 per cent. However, for Region 10, this number stands at just 20.7 per cent, an indication that the region continues to lag behind in the immunisation campaign.
“There is a big difference between what the national average is and what is happening in Linden. For second dose vaccines, the national average is 29.8 per cent. In Region 10, its 9.4 per cent. There’s a big gap here,” said Dr Anthony.
Testing figures in this zone has also been low, and this is reflected in the data gathered since March 2020, which shows that only 8265 people being tested.
“There’s another anomaly in Region 10. Perhaps, there are lots of people there who might have signs and symptoms of COVID. These are flu-like symptoms but they don’t come for a test…That is really low. Just to give a comparison, for the rest of the country overall, from the same period we would have completed 251,230 tests across this country. it’s relatively low in Region 10 and because many people are not coming forward to get tested, it means our rate of detection in Region 10 has been much lower. It’s not that the disease is not there, it’s just that people don’t want to be tested.”

He added that if a person has been in contact with an infected person, it is important to get tested and prevent the virus from further spreading if the results return positive. In Region 10, 1585 have since tested positive but the Minister cautioned that this might not be a true reflection of the cases owing to the low test rates.
“If they don’t want to get tested, I think that’s a foolish approach but what we should ideally have is people coming forward and getting tested. If they’re positive, we can take certain actions. If they’re negative, that’s fine. But people ought to know what is the status for COVID, especially if you have been exposed to someone who is carrying COVID,” Dr Anthony said in the briefing.
All Guyanese are reminded to observe the protocols of the COVID-19 emergency measures which emphasise the need for correct and consistent use of a face mask when leaving your home; the importance of maintaining the six feet physical distance from others; and the need for good hand hygiene. (G12)