… 243,540 persons receive first dose of vaccine – Dr Anthony
An 82-year-old man from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) is Guyana’s latest COVID-19 victim, thus taking the death toll to 514.
The Health Ministry on Tuesday reported that he died while receiving treatment at a medical facility. This is the 37th person to die for the month of July.
New statistics provided by the Health Ministry showed the overall positives rising to 21,668, comprising 10,577 males and 11,091 females. This is after 62 more persons tested positive for the virus within one day.
To date, 12 patients remain in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU); while 97 are in institutional isolation, 1052 on home isolation and two in institutional quarantine. The country has seen 19,993 recoveries. Since the pandemic started, 212,205 persons were swabbed for the coronavirus.
Of the new positives, one was from Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); eight from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); 28 from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica); four from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice); 18 from Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and four from Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice).
Cases in Regions One (Barima-Waini), Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) did not increase.
Meanwhile, even as 50 per cent of the adult population has been vaccinated with their first COVID-19 dose, the country is still some distance from achieving the herd immunity status.
Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony disclosed that 243,540 persons, equivalent to 50 per cent of the adult population, have received their first doses.
Herd immunity, however, entails having 80 to 85 per cent of the eligible persons receiving both doses. As at this present time, Guyana is at 26 per cent immunity, an indication that more work needs to be done.
“In terms of second dose, we have been able to vaccinate 128,847 persons. That represents 26.5 per cent of our adult population. To get to herd immunity, we’d like persons to be fully vaccinated, and we’d like to get to approximately 80 to 85 per cent of our adult population being fully vaccinated. So, we’re a little bit off from that, because we’re only at 26.5 per cent that are fully vaccinated. We have a lot more work to do,” Dr Anthony has expressed.
He underscored that the vaccines are safe, providing protection against deaths and severe forms of the virus. With some degree of vaccine hesitancy emanating in communities, the Minister noted that their apprehensions can be easily cleared through sensitisation.
“We want people to understand that these vaccines are safe. They’re working, they’re helping to prevent deaths, severe disease, and they (persons) need to come out and protect themselves. We have seen some people who have been hesitant and they’re not coming forward to get their vaccines…Some of the hesitancy has to do with a fear of maybe getting a jab, a little bit of pain that you get from that. Some people are fearful of needles, others fear reactions, so all of this can, if people have those discussions, those fears that the unvaccinated people have would be dispelled,” he added.
In Guyana, females are leading the positive cases. But the Health official outlined that this could be linked to higher testing rates in women, as opposed to men.
“It depends on how many persons are coming forward to be tested. So, if there are more women coming forward to be tested, then we can have that type of increase. It’s probably not a real increase, but it is reflected in the numbers because more women are coming forward to be tested. Men generally would come only when they’re really sick, and that’s unfortunate, but that’s our reality,” he said.