COVID-19 death toll climbs to 255 after 3 more women die

—105 new cases recorded; 15 in ICU

Guyana’s COVID-19 deaths have further increased following the deaths of three women who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
These latest fatalities are a 41-year-old female from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); and a 63-year-old woman along with a 65-year-old woman – both of whom are from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica). These three women died on Saturday while receiving care at medical facilities, the Ministry of Health said on Sunday.
With these, the total number of deaths from the pandemic in Guyana has risen to 255. This now takes the COVID-19 death toll for the month of April to 22, with 12 deaths recorded in the past week alone. The last fatalities were recorded on Wednesday last when a 59-year-old man from Region Six and a 73-year-old man from Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) died.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry also reported on Sunday that a whopping 105 new cases were detected in Guyana.
According to the updated COVID-19 dashboard, the country’s total number of confirmed cases is now 11,149 – 5668 males and 5481 females.
However, only 1173 of these cases are currently active. This includes 15 patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) – one more than Saturday’s figure, and the remaining 1158 persons in isolation, that is, 69 in institutional isolation and the other 1089 in home isolation.
Additionally, there are also 18 persons in institutional quarantine.
Some 9721 persons have recovered from the life-threatening virus in the country to date – 33 more recoveries than the figure reported the previous day.
A total of 99,349 persons have been tested thus far for the novel coronavirus in Guyana.
Of the 105 new cases recorded on Sunday, four were detected in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); 20 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); 46 cases in the Demerara-Mahaica region; six in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice); 11 in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); seven cases in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region, and the remaining 11 cases in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
The figures in the other three regions – Region One (Barima-Waini), Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) – remained the same.
In order to curb the spread of the virus and reduce the country’s death toll from the pandemic, Guyana rolled out its vaccination campaign in February and has thus far inoculated more than 52,000 persons. Additionally, several hundred persons have also received their second-dose shots.
Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are being administered to all persons 40 years and older along with all healthcare frontline workers as well as Joint Services members.
However, even as the vaccination campaign is proving successful having surpassed last week’s target of 40,000, Guyana is seeing a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. This new wave of the virus is affecting a lot of young people and making infected persons sicker thus requiring hospitalisation.
“Over the last month or so, we’ve started seeing an uptick in cases… We have also seen younger people also being affected and that is quite worrying… And out of seeing more cases, we’ve started to see more hospitalisation. Out of those that have been hospitalised, a percentage of them are much sicker so they’ll have to get ICU care,” Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony had explained last week.
However, the Health Minister was unable to say whether there is a new COVID-19 variant in the country that is resulting in these people becoming sicker and more younger people becoming infected.
“We still don’t know what variants we have in Guyana and we can only know that if it’s confirmed by genetic sequencing… It’s hard to determine which one we have or if we have any because we don’t have sequencing and you would only know if you have sequencing,” Dr Anthony had stated.
Previously, Guyana had sent 10 samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and after completing the gene sequencing in February this year, the results showed that were no traces of new variants of COVID-19.
However, since then no other testing was done but Minister Anthony said they are hoping to send another set of samples for genetic sequencing.
Meanwhile, health authorities are reminding all Guyanese to observe the protocols of the COVID-19 Emergency Measures (No 16), which was extended for this month and will be in effect until April 30, 2021.
Among these measures is the 22:30h (10 pm) to 04:00h (4 am) national curfew which remains intact. Restaurants and places of worship continue to operate at 40 per cent capacity. Gyms are to operate at 50 per cent capacity while sporting events are only permitted with approval from the Health Minister.
The order further emphasises 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.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as of Sunday, some 134,957,021 confirmed cases were reported globally along with 2,918,752 deaths.
The WHO also reported on Sunday that in the Region of the Americas, that is, Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has increased to 57,943,462 while the death toll in the region has gone up to 1,404,302.