COVID-19 deaths reach 140

…16 new cases recorded

A 42-year-old man from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) is the country’s latest COVID-19 fatality, increasing the death toll to 140.
He succumbed while being treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). For November, there have been 12 reported deaths from the coronavirus.
For Tuesday, there were 16 new cases of the virus. From the total 4890 positives detected thus far, 2558 were males while 2332 were females. Also, of this amount, 3930 persons have recovered.
There are 10 patients in the designated COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 100 persons in institutional isolation, 710 in home isolation and 60 in institutional quarantine.
A breakdown showed that four new cases were reported for Region One (Barima-Waini), four in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), three in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), three in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and two in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
Cases in Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) remained at 97; 366; 36; 158 and 376 respectively.
To date, the number of persons tested locally for the coronavirus is 25,417.

Limited sporting events
On Tuesday, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony clarified that provisions were made for limited sporting activities to be reconvened but bars at such events must remain closed. Also, no spectators are allowed. During the course of such activities, he said officials will be dispatched to conduct checks, and violations will result in a halt of the respective event.
“Bars at these events must be closed. There must be no bars and there must be no drinking of alcoholic or other beverages. If you encourage that, it is going to create problems. So, it should not be a spectator event and no bars are allowed. It’s very clear. There are conditions to these events and [when] people apply for them, these conditions are made known to them. The secretariat would be sending out teams to do random checks. If they are not in compliance with the stipulations, then we can close the event down,” the Minister outlined.
Bars are not allowed, since masks have to be taken off and can result in people contracting the virus, especially if they are positive. The Ministry has remained serious about such violations, as it can cause a massive spread of the coronavirus.
“These events, if not managed properly, can be super spreaders. A lot of people congregate and they get infected and they can spread the disease. The reason why we don’t want bars, when you drink, you have to remove your mask and if somebody is near to you that is positive, you will be exposed to them,” the senior official shared.
Apart from cricket, there has been a request from the golf fraternity to restart games locally. It was noted that given the nature of the sport, it can be restarted as long as the rules are abided.
“We’re trying to work with the various sporting organisations and as we work with them, we’re ensuring that rules are in place to minimise exposure to the virus.”

Mental health
He said there has been increased mental health issues, not just among frontline workers and patients, but generally among the population. Mental illness can arise when people worry about the disease, and can range from depression to anxiety.
Dr Anthony outlined, “You have the direct effects of the virus on people who would have been infected. That’s one set of persons. But then you have persons who are worrying about getting the virus. They are very anxious and some persons who have isolated themselves at home, they have their own sets of issues. Some can get depressed and so forth.”
He said health systems need to detect such conditions in a timely manner and counsel patients. Recently, training was conducted with primary health workers, enabling them to recognise these ailments. (G12)