Guyana records 160th COVID-19 death, 45 new cases in 24h

– cases continue to spike in Region 10
…as Health Ministry awaits scientific data on new coronavirus variant

The Health Ministry on Tuesday announced that there has been another local death from COVID-19, thus bringing the death toll to 160.
The latest fatality is a 73-year-old man from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice). He died on Monday while receiving care at a medical facility. His death is the ninth for the month of December, so far.
Nevertheless, 45 new cases were detected in one day. From the 6216 total confirmed cases, 3220 are males and 2996 are females.
There are five persons in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 31 in institutional isolation, 635 in home isolation and 15 in institutional quarantine. For now, there are 5385 recovered cases.
A breakdown showed that three new cases were detected in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), eight in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and 34 in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
There are still 931 cases Region One (Barima-Waini); 186 in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); 442 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); 76 in Region Five (Demerara-Mahaica); 303 in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); 184 in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and 396 in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
On Tuesday, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony emphasised on the fact that there is no cure as yet for the virus. As a result, he said the medicines will not work for everyone.
“None of these medicines are magic bullets. There isn’t a cure for COVID-19 and therefore, while the medicines might help some people, it’s not going to cure everyone. We still have to look at various options and see what we can do for that patient. We now understand more about the disease and how people move from one phase to another, what are the kinds of reactions to expect, how to manage those better,” he said.
On the aspect of the vaccine, he said they are working to have an expert on board to understand the dynamics of cold-chain operation.
“It is important that we get some expertise in this area and we work with people who understand how to utilise this ultra-cold chain. We have spoken to the COVAX mechanism and applied for a grant to get an expert through COVAX technical assistance, in terms of working with ultra-cold chain. We’re expecting a favourable response from them.”

New strain
Reports recently confirmed that a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, has been found in the United Kingdom. This resulted in stricter coronavirus restrictions in London and other areas. There are over 23 known mutations, a worrying factor in the global community.
Speaking about this issue, the Health Minister said, “As more investigations are done, we’ll probably get a better picture of what’s happening…A number of countries have moved to stop air traffic between themselves and the UK. So, we had discussions with CARPHA yesterday and we’re trying to get a consensus of a Caribbean position, how to react to this. Our advice from CARPHA is that we should wait a little bit to see what is happening and get scientific information before we make a decision.”
There are two Caribbean countries that have proceeded in restricting flights from the UK, that is Jamaica and Grenada.