Guyana records 24 new COVID-19 cases

Pharmacist Brinnet Bernarai was administered the first jab of COVID-19 vaccine in Guyana last week

The Health Ministry on Sunday reported that 24 new novel coronavirus cases were detected within a 24-hour period from a total of 205 tests that were conducted.
New statistics released by the Ministry showed that the number of confirmed cases in Guyana now stand at 8231 – 4248 males and 3949 females.
But only 662 of these cases are currently active. This includes eight patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the other 654 in isolation, that is, 45 in institutional isolation and the remaining 609 in home isolation.
There are also 24 persons in institutional quarantine.
Additionally, the COVID-19 death toll remains at 186, with the latest fatalities – two males, aged 84 and 59, from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) – having died on Thursday while receiving care at medical facilities.
To date, the number of persons who have recovered from the life-threatening virus has gone up to 7383 – four more recoveries than the figure reported the previous day.
Meanwhile, Guyana has tested some 55,078 persons for the novel coronavirus thus far.
Of the 24 new cases detected on Sunday, two were from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); 17 cases in the Demerara-Mahaica region; one case each in Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), and the remaining three cases were from Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
The figures in the other five regions – Region One (Barima-Waini), Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) – remained the same.
As the number of cases continues to increase in Guyana, Government last week rolled out the administration of the COVID-19 vaccines to protect against the deadly virus.
Guyana received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday from Barbados.
The Caricom sister stated donated 3000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Guyana and without hesitation, healthcare workers at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Ocean View, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, were given the first doses.
Healthcare and other frontline workers is the first category to be vaccinated followed by at-risk persons and the elderly population before extending to the wider citizenry.
However, while there are still persons who are sceptical about taking the jab, Government wants to see everyone in the country vaccinated and according to the Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo, this includes immigrants in Guyana.
Jagdeo told reporters recently that immigrants will not be left out of the immunisation exercise which aims at tackling the novel coronavirus and safeguarding citizens.
“If the immigrants are here and they fall into the categories, there is no way of not administering the vaccines to them too because they live in our society legally and they can also be the vector or the carrier of the virus. So, you have to ensure that everyone gets vaccinated who lives here,” VP Jagdeo posited.
Meanwhile, Guyana is expected to receive its first set of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility soon.
Under the COVAX mechanism, the country is poised to benefit from vaccines for 20 per cent of the country’s population. In fact, it was previously reported that COVAX is slated to send over 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Guyana.
Additionally, China has also committed to donating 20,000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine to Guyana, while India has also donated a large number of the AstraZeneca vaccines to the Caribbean and Guyana is expected to receive the biggest batch.
Moreover, a partnership between Caricom and the African Union can see Guyana also benefitting from another 149,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. But these will have to be paid for.
The Health Ministry is also in discussion with a number of companies on the matter of securing more vaccines for the population.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as of Sunday, some 108,153,741 confirmed cases were reported globally along with 2,381,295 deaths.
The organisation also reported on Wednesday that in the Region of the Americas, that is, Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has increased to 48,137,377 while the death toll in the region has surpassed over one million.