COVID-19 death toll climbs to 231 as 2 more die

– March fatalities now stand at 34

The Health Ministry on Tuesday reported that two more persons died from COVID-19, taking the death toll to a whopping 231.
The latest fatalities are a 56-year-old man and a 79-year-old woman – both of Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica). They died while receiving care at a medical facility.
However, new statistics provided by the Ministry showed that 10 new cases were detected from 452 tests that were done. This now takes the total number of positive cases to 10,192 of which 1042 are active.
The Ministry further stated that 12 persons remain in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 893 in home isolation, 58 in institutional isolation and 18 in institutional quarantine. The data showed that 8998 patients have recovered after 5216 males and 4976 females tested positive for the life-threatening virus.
The new cases were recorded in Regions Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).
Meanwhile, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony on Tuesday stated that Sheriff Medical and Coastal Diagnostics was granted provisional licences to conduct COVID-19 PCR testing.
He indicated that the two private labs will have to undergo a three-month probationary trial and upon successful completion meeting outlined standards, they will be given the permanent licence.
The only other facilities permitted to conduct PCR testing are the National Public Health Reference Laboratory and Eureka Medical Lab.
It was indicated that Guyana is also pursuing avenues to send samples for genomic sequencing to determine if new variants are circulating locally. Some samples were initially sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency – all of which had returned negative.
The Agency had then suspended this arrangement but has since indicated that this will resume. Meanwhile, Guyana is also finalising other plans with the United States.
“They [CARPHA] have since notified us that they‘ll be able to do some additional sequencing and once we put all the arrangements in place, we’ll be able to send samples to them. We have also been pursuing another arrangement and that is to send samples to the United States but we’re still trying to finalise those details on how to get the samples out [to] them…If we are able to do the gene sequencing, then we would know whether or not the variants are circulation. We know that there are several variants circulating in different parts of the world,” Dr Anthony outlined.