Five fatalities as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were announced on Tuesday, and the death toll has now hit 1101.
Four persons died on January 17: a 42-year-old male from Region Four; a 44-year-old female from Region 10; a 78-year-old male from Region One; and a 23-year-old male from Region Four. A 53-year-old male from Region Four later succumbed on January 18.
One was unvaccinated, one was vaccinated and the status of the other three remains unknown.
Infections have been rising continuously, whereby 1083 new cases were reported within one day, according to the Ministry’s dashboard, and the total confirmed cases in the country moved to 53,178.
There are 18 patients in the designated Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 181 in home isolation, 1101 in institutional isolation and 11 in institutional quarantine. The data shows that 39,991 patients have recovered from the life-threatening virus while 478,261 tests were conducted.
A breakdown of cases showed 18 positives in Region One (Barima-Waini), 64 in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), 166 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), 613 in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), 65 in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), 110 in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), eight in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), one in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), five in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and 33 in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
Delta, Omicron variants
In the public health system, 389 beds have been assigned for COVID response – 195 of which are at the Infectious Diseases Hospital. The specialised facility can also support 152 intensive care patients. At the Georgetown Public Hospital, 14 beds were also set aside for obstetrics patients while regional facilities also have some capacity. There are 141 COVID-related patients across these institutions.
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony on Tuesday pointed out that with the possibility of both the Delta and Omicron variants circulating, the symptoms of the virus have somewhat shifted.
“We believe that we still have the Delta variant and we do have Omicron right now. So, we have a mixture of two variants that are currently circulating in Guyana. The symptoms might be a little different so generally people with COVID would get fever, cough, shortness of breath. Some people would have a decrease in smell and taste so these are all typical signs of COVID,” he detailed.
Persons who contracted the Omicron variant have since recorded fatigue, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throat, nasal congestion and headache. Rare symptoms of Omicron-infected persons include conjunctivitis or persistent abdominal pain – as reported in other countries.
“These symptoms, some of which you can get with a flu, once the patient [takes] themselves to the doctor, the doctor would be able to differentiate between flu and what is happening with the patient in the case of COVID-19,” he added.
Vaccination numbers show that 418,333 adults or 81.5 per cent have taken their first dose, with 305,194 or 59.5 per cent completing the second dose. In the adolescent category, that is 12 to 17, 31,861 first doses or 43.7 per cent were administered. Only 22,464 or 30.8 per cent are fully vaccinated. Booster doses stand at 28,727.
All Guyanese are reminded to observe the protocols of the COVID-19 Emergency Measures, which are in effect until January 31, 2022. This order emphasises the need for everyone, 12 years and older to get vaccinated against COVID-19; 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 to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
If anyone is displaying any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 or needs any additional information, they are asked to contact the COVID-19 Hotline 231-1166, 226-7480 or 624-6674 immediately or visit www.health.gov.gy (G12)