May’s COVID-19 death toll jumps to 32 after 4 more die

– Guyana’s death toll stands at 331
– 89 new cases detected in 24h

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony

The novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of four more within a 24-hour period thus taking May’s death toll to 32. Guyana’s overall death tool increased to a staggering 331.
The Health Ministry reported that a 78-year-old male from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), a 69-year-old female from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), a 63-year-old female from Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) and a 66-year-old male from Region One (Barima-Waini) died while receiving care at a medical facility on Monday, May 10.
Prior to the four, two males: a 77-year-old and 59-year-old from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) were reported to have succumbed on Monday as well.
However, new statistics provided by the Ministry showed that 89 new cases were detected within a 24-hour period. With the new figure, Guyana’s overall positive cases have skyrocketed to 14,531.
Of the active cases which have since surpassed the 1800 mark, 16 patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 101 are in institutional isolation, 1640 are in home isolation and 17 in institutional quarantine. The country has seen 12,443 recoveries.
Some 130,875 individuals were tested thus far – of which the positives showed a gender breakdown of 7272 males and 7259 females.
Of the new positive cases, one was detected in Region One (Barima-Waini); six in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); 47 from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica); two from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice); one in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), eight in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and 24 in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
Cases in Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) remained at 408, 270 and 611 respectively.
On Tuesday, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony called for Region One (Barima-Waini) residents to come forward and take their vaccines, as cases took another hike in recent time.
During the first wave of the pandemic in Guyana, Region One had reported a significant number of new cases, of which some persons died and some had recovered.
In recent time, new positives have been detected in the region, posing a concern for the Health Ministry. During a visit to the region, Dr Anthony urged persons to visit the various vaccination sites and get inoculated.
“Earlier in the pandemic, you had lots of cases in Region One and then you were able to reduce those cases. A lot of people have recovered but unfortunately, I’m seeing cases going up again and if we’re not careful, those cases can really accelerate and we’ll be back to where we were earlier in the pandemic. We don’t want to go there because when people get sick with COVID, some of those persons are going to get hospitalised and of those that get hospitalised, unfortunately quite a few are going to die,” the Minister indicated.
In Region One, 31 per cent of the adult population has received their vaccines. But to achieve herd immunity, about 85 per cent coverage is still needed. Government has committed to ensuring that the entire adult population is vaccinated but the onus is upon citizens to take the shots.
“For us to get to herd immunity, we need to ensure that we get to about 85 per cent of the adult population in the region. We still have a far way to go. The only way we can get there is that we have to get people to understand the importance of taking this vaccine and for them to come forward and get the vaccine. Once we are able to do that, then we can declare sometime down the road that Region One has achieved herd immunity.”
Similar concerns have been expressed over vaccine hesitancy in Region Eight and Region 10. During Tuesday’s COVID-19 update, he outlined those efforts must continue for people to understand the importance of taking the vaccine. As of Monday, over 157,000 persons had received their first doses.
“We have to work hard to get people to understand the importance of getting their vaccines…One of the things that people should understand is that vaccination protects people. Vaccination would reduce the burden of the disease. It would reduce the severity of the infection, hospitalisation, and reduce the possibility of dying from COVID. There are many advantages,” he said in the daily briefing.