Home Top Stories “Our ICU is filling up” – Health Minister warns as COVID-19 persists
…4 unvaccinated, 1 partially vaccinated deaths recorded
…135 new cases, over 1700 active cases in Region 4
Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony has sounded a warning to Guyanese about the seriousness of the coronavirus disease locally, where many persons are now being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit with a more severe form of the virus.
In Tuesday’s COVID-19 briefing, it was disclosed that active cases have now spiked to 3092 – 139 of which are hospitalised. There are 104 patients at the Infectious Diseases Hospital and of this number, 31 are in the ICU.
“The ICU is filling up and we really want to urge people to be cautious, to wear their masks, to keep social distancing, to sanitise their hands when they’re in indoor environment, to be in a ventilated environment. All these things help so it’s not just about vaccination, which is very important, but it is all the additional measures that you have to use,” the Minister warned.
Works are ongoing to further expand the Infectious Diseases Hospital intensive care capacity to accommodate a surge. Recently, the ICU was expanded to cater for an additional 10 patients – a bed capacity of 38. Thus far, there is adequate supply of oxygen for the facilities.
“We have taken some additional measures of increasing the oxygen capacity at the Ocean View facility. Previously, where we were utilising 1000-pound cylinder of oxygen, we have now put in a bulk tank that was specially designed and brought in to cater for such needs. That tank, we replenish it every 24 hours.”
Several other contingency plans are in place in case there is a shortage but the Minister said this situation is not anticipated at this point in time.
New cases, deaths
On Tuesday, five more reported deaths raised the country’s death toll to 692.
A 72-year-old woman and 34-year-old man – both of whom hailed from Region Three – died on September 1 and 3, respectively. Then, an 85-year-old woman of Region Six also succumbed on September 6. A 64-year-old woman and a 54-year-old man from Region Four later died on September 13.
They all died while receiving medical care and four out of the five persons were unvaccinated, with the fifth being partially vaccinated.
There were 135 new cases in one day, according to the Ministry’s dashboard, with the total confirmed cases in the country moving 28,324 – 13,526 males and 14,708 females.
A total of 31 are in the designated Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 2841 in home isolation, 149 in institutional isolation and 20 in institutional quarantine. The data showed that 24,521 patients have recovered from the life-threatening virus.
A breakdown showed four new cases in Region One (Barima-Waini), two in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), 85 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), 65 in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), seven in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), 12 in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), 14 in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), one in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), four in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and 10 in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
The Health Ministry has reported 460 active cases on the East Bank of Demerara: 80 in Diamond, 62 in Eccles and 48 in Timehri. On the East Coast of Demerara, there are 588 cases, with Mon Repos and Enterprise as the recent hotspots. Meanwhile in Georgetown, there are 682 cases with spikes in Kitty, Lodge and Sophia among others. Some 91 positives are being monitored in Region Five, 82 in Region Six and 65 in Region Seven.
When asked about his Government’s take on more stringent measures, the Minister pointed out that it is more of a behavioural problem across the populace, where adherence is necessary at all times.
“We’re constantly evaluating but again, it’s not about we as the Government can do. It’s what people should be doing because this is a behavioural thing and it is more about attitude. The Government can’t go Police somebody if they’re not wearing their mask. We’ll try but really this is an individual’s behaviour. We wouldn’t be there at all times with somebody seeing how they wear their mask.” (G12)