4 new COVID-19 deaths take Guyana’s fatalities to 400

…spike recorded across Region 9

Fifteen months into the pandemic locally, Guyana’s coronavirus death toll has hit 400 after four more persons succumbed.
The Health Ministry announced the latest deaths as those of a 71-year-old male from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and an 81-year-old male from Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice), who died on Tuesday, while on Wednesday, a 67-year-old female and an 88-year-old male – both from Region Four – also succumbed to the disease.
For the month of June, four persons have died. It follows an alarming spike in deaths whereby 97 persons died in May – the deadliest month for Guyana.
There were also 119 new cases reported on Thursday, raising the total confirmed cases to 17,376. There are 17 patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 103 in institutional isolation and 1783 in home isolation. Additionally, seven persons were placed in institutional quarantine. Some 15,073 positive cases have since recovered.
Of the new cases, one was from Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); 16 from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); 46 from Region Four; seven from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice); 13 from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); 26 from Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and 10 in Region 10.
In Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), the figures remain unchanged at 1131, 1223, and 365 respectively.

Spike in Region 9
Communities across Region Nine have recently been under the microscope as COVID-19 cases there have spiked, prompting health officials to test and monitor in order to flatten the curve.
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony informed in Thursday’s coronavirus briefing that cases have spiked near the Rupununi River and Rewa Village. Other communities which initially reported cases have seen a drop in positives. Between Sunday and Thursday this week, a total of 159 cases were detected in the region.
“In Region Nine, there’s a mixed set of cases in a sense. There are some communities where we have identified cases earlier and those cases have dropped over the last week or so. We now see spikes in the Rupununi River, so at Apoteri, there are a number of cases there. We have seen an increase in cases in Rewa,” Dr Anthony shared.
According to the Minister, monitoring will continue and those persons who are negative will be vaccinated against the virus.
“The increase in cases that we’re now seeing in the region is primarily because of these two communities. We have teams that went in. They have done testing, monitoring and for those persons who are negative, we are able to offer them the vaccine. We have been doing vaccination in those areas as well.”

Thus far, 205,944 persons or 42.3 per cent of the adult population have received their first jab while 72,045 or 14.8 per cent have been fully immunised.
Regionally, 46.6 percent of the adult population in Region One have received their first vaccine, 40.3 per cent in Region Two, 42.3 per cent in Region Three, 43.2 per cent in Region Four, 46.5 per cent in Region Five, 50.2 per cent in Region Six, 42.3 per cent in Region Seven, 27.5 per cent in Region Eight, 40.5 per cent in Region Nine and 12.4 per cent in Region 10.
“The two regions that are outliers are really Region 10 at 12.4 per cent and Region Eight at 27.5 per cent. We have to do quite a lot of work in these two regions. One of the challenges right now with Region Eight is the flooding that we have there. In Region 10, we have known about the persistent problem that we have there with vaccine hesitancy,” the Health Minister said.
He added, “The geographic layout is also challenging, because it’s quite mountainous and so in normal times, it’s difficult to reach some of the communities. This now has been compounded with the rains, so it’s quite a challenge.”
Dr Anthony cautioned that it was important to take all precautions while travelling, since there is no mandated immunisation to board a flight as yet. Until this is in place, the immunisation status of people remains unknown – an indication that travellers should be cautious.
“You don’t know who would be sitting next to you. You don’t know how many persons boarding the plane would have been vaccinated. As it is now, it’s not a requirement to have a vaccine passport …In the Americas, we haven’t been doing that as yet although there have been discussions on that. If we move towards a vaccine passport, then you can be assured of the people in the plane. As of now, because there isn’t a requirement, you still have to take all the precautions,” the Health Minister underscored. (G12)