Guyana records further decrease in active COVID-19 cases

The number of active novel coronavirus cases in Guyana continues to decline, reaching 346 cases on Wednesday.
According to the Ministry of Health’s updated Dashboard, 18 new COVID-19 cases were detected. This took the number of confirmed cases in the country to 6319 – 3267 males and 3052 females.
However, of the 346 active cases, five are patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while the other 341 persons are in isolation; that is, one person in institutional isolation and the remaining 340 in home isolation.
In addition, there are 26 persons in institutional isolation.
The COVID-19 death toll remains at 164, with the latest fatalities recorded last Saturday when a 53-year-old male and a 74-year-old female, both of Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), died.
Meanwhile, the number of persons to recover from the life-threatening disease continues to increase, with 5809 recoveries recorded on Wednesday – 32 more than the figure reported the previous day.
To date, Guyana has tested some 38,018 persons for the novel coronavirus. Of the 18 new cases recorded on Wednesday, three are from Region One (Barima-Waini), two are from Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), four are from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), six are from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and three are from Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni). The figures remained the same in the other regions.
Since taking office, the PPP/C Government has embarked on a massive testing drive to ensure that all positive cases, especially asymptomatic cases, are detected. This has results in a high number of cases being detected.
Nevertheless, Guyanese are reminded to observe the protocols of the COVID-19 EMERGENCY  MEASURES (NO. 12), which are in effect until today, December 31, 2020.
This order emphasises, among other things, the need for correct and consistent use of a face mask when leaving your home; the importance of maintaining the physical distance of six feet from others; and the need for good hand-hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
During his COVID-19 update on Wednesday, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said the new measures for January 2021 are being worked out, and should be out sometime today. He noted that the measures and guidelines are likely to remain the same.
Dr Anthony went on to reiterate that Guyanese should take all precautions during the holidays, and refrain from overindulging, which he said could have ill effects. He further pointed out the need for citizens to continue adhering to the prevention measures, so as to avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“We have been talking to people, we have been warning people to continue to take preventative measures, and hopefully, people would listen to us and do the right things. If they don’t, then what you will notice is that we will get a surge in cases in January. While we don’t want that to happen, it will be inevitable if people don’t comply with the guidelines that we have put out,” the Minister posited.
According to Dr Anthony, “While that looks like a nice number, when you increase testing in practical areas, or if you are more aggressive in a particular area with testing, you will see those numbers going up. So, a lower number right now does not mean that somehow we are out of the woods. So I want to urge people to be careful, because we still have a long way to go if we’re going to exit this pandemic.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as at Wednesday, some 80,773,033 confirmed cases were reported globally, along with 1,783,619 deaths.
WHO also reported on Sunday that in the Region of the Americas; that is, Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has increased to 35,072,919, while the death toll has gone up to 848,883.
With yet another COVID-19 vaccine – AstraZeneca – being approved for use in the United Kingdom, Minister Anthony says that a substantial portion of the global population will have to be vaccinated before the world can exit the novel coronavirus pandemic. (G8)