COVID-19 death toll climbs to 262 as 4 more die

…97 new cases recorded
…Eccles, Campbellville, Lusignan among hotspots in Region 4

Another four persons who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have died, according to the Ministry of Health.
This now takes the total number of deaths from the pandemic to 262.
The latest fatalities are two males from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), ages 79 and 67 and an 86-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman both from Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice). The four died while receiving care at medical facilities.
With these, the COVID-19 death toll for the month of April has gone up to 19. There were already five fatalities from the pandemic recorded earlier this week. On Sunday, a 64-year-old man from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and a 60-year-old woman from Region 3 (Essequibo Islands- West Demerara) died, while another 64-year-old male from Region Four died on Monday.

New cases
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has also reported on Wednesday that a whopping 97 more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Guyana.
According to the updated COVID-19 Dashboard, the country’s total number of confirmed cases now stands at 11,374, of which 5769 are males and 5605 females.
However, only 1234 of these are currently active cases. This includes 13 patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the remaining 1,219 persons in isolation, that is, 76 in institutional isolation and the other 1,143 in home isolation. Additionally, another 11 persons are in institutional quarantine.
To date, some 9880 persons have recovered from the life-threatening virus in the country – 84 more recoveries than the figure reported the previous day.
A total of 102,053 persons have thus far been tested for the novel coronavirus in Guyana. Of the 97 new cases recorded on Wednesday, one was detected in Region One (Barima-Waini), five in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), 20 in Region Three, a whopping 55 cases in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) one in Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice), another five cases in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and 10 in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
The figures in the other three regions – Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Region Nine (Upper Essequibo-Takutu) – remained the same.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases and deaths comes as local authorities continue to battle with a new wave of the novel coronavirus that is seeing infected persons becoming sicker and requiring hospitalisation.

During his Wednesday update on the novel coronavirus situation in Guyana, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony revealed that there are currently 74 infected persons hospitalised across the country. These include nine persons at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, three at the New Amsterdam Hospital, another three at Linden Hospital and the remaining at the Ocean View Hospital, where 15 persons are on ventilators to assist with their breathing in the COVID-19 ICU.
According to Dr Anthony, Region Four continues to be the epicentre for the pandemic outbreak in Guyana, with several communities emerging as hotspots. These include Diamond, Herstelling and Eccles on the East Bank of Demerara; Kitty and Campbellville in Georgetown along with parts of South Ruimveldt, and Lugisnan and Good Hope on the East of Demerara.
The Minister noted that while other communities in these areas also have cases, the specific communities have high numbers.
In order to curb to the spread of COVID-19, government has rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination campaign in February last.
While there has been a tremendous response to the vaccination campaign with some 67,524 persons immunised with their first shot as at Tuesday, Dr Anthony noted that they are still working aggressively to sensitise communities about the benefits of taking the COVID-19 vaccine.
“What we’re trying to do is work with the different community groups in dispelling whatever myths they have and to try to get people to come out to the immunisation centres. We have moved away from some of the fixed sites that we have, and we have gone closer into the community, and I think that is working,” he posited.
Moreover, the Health Minister noted that they are also moving the vaccination exercise to riverine communities. In fact, he noted that they have already commenced an assessment at the Berbice River area to ascertain the population and what is needed in order to rollout vaccination there.
“By next week, they are planning to go back and do the immunisation,” he added.
The Minister went on to say, “We also would encourage community leaders, health care workers and train them in order to understand better how the vaccine works, and to pass them on to the different people of the community. That is an ongoing exercise. We’ve also been working with a number of the community leaders to get them to understand a little more about vaccine, and hopefully they can then work with their peers and persons within community to help them to understand how these things work.”
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 are to continue to operate at 40 per cent capacity. Gyms are to operate at 50 per cent capacity, while sporting events are permitted only with approval from the Health Minister.
The order further emphasises the need for correct and consistent use of a face mask when leaving home; the importance of maintaining the six-foot physical distance from others, and the need for good hand-hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. (G8)