…94 deaths in 22 days, 19 in ICU
Guyana’s death toll from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has gone up to 893 after six more persons who tested positive for the deadly disease died.
These latest fatalities are all from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and only one of them was partially vaccinated, that is, they received the first dose.
They are 69- and 70-year-old females, as well as a 69-year-old male, who were all unvaccinated and died on October 21; a 71-year-old male who was also not immunised and died on October 20; and the remaining two – a 53-year-old female who was unvaccinated and a 50-year-old male who was partially vaccinated – died on October 22.
According to the Health Ministry on Friday, these six patients were admitted with COVID-19 like symptoms but died while receiving care at medical institutions. Samples were taken at the time of admission which subsequently returned positive tests.
This now brings the death toll so far in October to 94.
Meanwhile, the Ministry’s updated COVID-19 dashboard on Friday showed that another 77 persons have contracted the virus.
This now takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 34,877 of which 16,495 are males and 18,382 are females.
Of this amount, however, only 3417 are currently active cases including 19 patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the remaining 3398 persons in isolation, that is, 108 in institutional isolation and the other 3290 in home isolation.
There are also another six persons in institutional quarantine.
To date, some 30,567 persons have recovered from the life-threatening disease – 195 more recoveries than the figure reported the previous day.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Guyana, a total of 344,591 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the country.
Of the 77 new cases recorded on Friday, three are from Region One (Barima-Waini), eight cases from Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), 17 from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), a whopping 34 cases from the Demerara-Mahaica region, five more from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), four cases from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and three cases each in Regions Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
There were no new cases detected in the last 24 hours in Regions Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Essequibo).
The Guyana Government launched its COVID-19 vaccination exercise back in February and continues to roll it out across the various regions in order to achieve herd immunity and reduce the number of COVID-19 infections.
So far, some 376,436 persons or 73.4 per cent of the adult population have received their first dose of the vaccine and approximately 46.1 per cent or some 236,238 persons who are 18 years and older are fully immunised.
As it relates to children, approximately 26,751 or 36.7 per cent first doses have been administered to the 12 to 17-year age group. Of that amount, some 17,182 or 23.6 per cent are fully vaccinated.
During his COVID-19 update on Friday, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony pointed out that in both age groups there are a significant number of persons who have received their first dose and are due for their second jab but have not taken it as yet.
In fact, he disclosed that there are about 55,000 persons who are due for the second shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We have those second doses available,” the Health Minister noted, adding that there are sufficient vaccines available to immunise the adult population in the country. Dr Anthony also indicated that additional vaccines – Sputnik V component two, AstraZeneca and Pfizer are slated to arrive within the next week.
Moreover, he also gave a breakdown of the first dose vaccination figures in each region and it revealed that Regions Two, Eight and 10 are lagging behind with 59.6 per cent, 45.4 per cent and 33.1 per cent, respectively.
According to the Health Minister, these regions would need to achieve at least 90 per cent of full immunisation in order to get to herd immunity.
“So, we have a far way to go in terms of vaccinating especially in these three regions,” he posited.
The first dose vaccination figures in the other regions are in the 70s with the exception of Region Four – the country’s most populated region – which is at 82.3 per cent. However, Dr Anthony has stressed the need for this figure be increased.
“We still need to get that up… The higher the immunisation rates go up, you will see a falloff in terms of the hospitalisation and the deaths. As we increase these numbers of persons being vaccinated in Region Four, you are going to see the cases come down,” he stated.
Nevertheless, as people continue to get vaccinated, authorities are urging the public to continue observing all COVID-19 preventative measures, particularly masking in public, social distancing and frequent hand washing and sanitising.
The measures also include vaccination requirements to access any public building such as restaurants, places of worship, schools as well as Government buildings. (G8)