Guyana records 177th COVID-19 death, 13 new cases

– 35 cases imported since reopening of CJIA

A testing facility at Cheddi Jagan International Airport

The Health Ministry on Monday announced that another person who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) succumbed, thus taking the death toll to 177.
The latest death was recorded on Sunday and it is that of a 58-year-old female from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica). She died while receiving care at a medical

Health Minister,
Dr Frank Anthony

“Officials of the Ministry have contacted all relatives and persons to facilitate contact tracing and rapid assistance to everyone who may have been exposed to the now-deceased person,” the Ministry said.
However, a total of 13 new cases were also reported, taking the confirmed cases to 7654. Statistics show that five persons remain in the Intensive Care Unit, 55 in institutional isolation, 782 in home isolation and eight in institutional quarantine.
From the 3965 males and 3689 females that contracted the virus, 6635 have recovered completely. To date, health officials have tested 50,152 persons.
New cases were reported across five administrative regions, with one in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); one in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); 10 in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and one in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).
There are 1004 cases in Region One (Barima-Waini), 428 in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), 618 in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), 234 in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), 410 in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and 590 in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
Meanwhile, during Monday’s COVID-19 update, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony stated that since the airports were reopened last October, 35 imported cases were recorded.
“I think what has helped is that many countries are requiring now that you have PCR for travel. By having tighter measures in terms of travel, it has drastically reduced the amount of persons coming in.”
He further divulged that an exercise was carried out in December, where health teams randomly went into various communities and conducted testing. This would have detected a number of positive cases and the Ministry is seeking to continue this activity in the future.
“We conducted some specific exercises in a number of villages. Those were effective because we were able to detect positives where we didn’t have positives before. It shows that we probably would have to develop a roving team to move around in random communities and do random checking. That’s something that we will be developing over the next couple of weeks. The places where we had testing going on, I think we were able to yield positive cases.”
Presently, there are fixed sites in all the regions where persons can be tested. In addition to the antigen and PCR tests, another type will be introduced using the GeneXpert machines. One will start working in Lethem this week while Linden and New Amsterdam will also receive one each.
These machines were used to test persons for tuberculosis prior to COVID-19, but were recalibrated to test for the coronavirus.
“They will be able to do the testing at the hospital itself. They don’t have to send samples to Georgetown; they can do it right there and they will be able to get back results within an hour using that particular machine,” Dr Anthony outlined.