49 new COVID-19 cases recorded from 455 samples

From a total of 455 swab samples, 49 returned positive results for the novel coronavirus on Thursday.
The new statistics were provided in the Health Ministry’s dashboard and showed that there were now 6745 confirmed cases – 3462 males and 3283 females – with 170 deaths. The latest virus-related fatalities were confirmed on Monday, following the deaths of two men.
Four patients remain in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU); 54 in institutional isolation and 43 in institutional quarantine. There are also 449 persons in home isolation. Some 6068 of those infected have recovered.
To date, Guyana has tested 42,782 individuals.
Of the new cases, one was confirmed in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), 10 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), 19 in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), one in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), nine in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), six in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and three in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
The cases in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) remain constant at 978, 219 and 403 respectively.
On Thursday, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony spoke of the ongoing efforts to reinforce the response to COVID-19 in regional hospitals, as the country continues to report new positive cases.
“In regional hospitals, we have given them additional equipment such as ventilators, oxygen concentrators, and other things that they would need, providing them with the right PPEs [Personal Protective Equipment] and so forth. This is an effort to equip them so that if they have persons that need hospitalisation, they would be able to take care of those patients.”
Zeroing in on the higher number of deaths and cases among men, the Minister said it could be linked to the risks that they take instead of following the guidelines. However, there is no study locally to determine what are other contributing factors.
“The challenge that you have: there is probably risk taking. We know generally that men sometimes don’t pay attention to the proper use of masks or sanitising and so forth. Maybe that can be a contributing factor. We haven’t done a study per se to determine what might be these factors, but generally we have seen men undertaking more risk-taking kind of behaviour,” Dr Anthony explained.
The United Kingdom has enforced a ban on travellers entering the country from South America and Portugal, due to a newly-identified strain of the virus in neighbouring Brazil. This is in effect from today, January 15.
The ban applies to individuals who travelled from or passed through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela within the past 10 days.
New strains have already been detected in the UK and South Africa, and have spread as far as the United States. For this, South and Central American countries such as Panama, Chile, Brazil and Guatemala have already restricted travel from the UK. Argentina and Uruguay have closed their borders to foreign nationals.