Over 37% positive COVID-19 cases are young people – Health Minister
An analysis of the COVID-19 positives recorded in Guyana thus far has pointed to over 4000 young people contracting the virus since the first case was detected in March 2020.
From the 11,000-plus cases in Guyana, in excess of 1500 were between the ages of 20 and 25. In the 25-30 age range, there were over 1600 infections, followed by 1200 in the 30-35 category.
According to the Minister, this trend is due to the increased activity by younger persons – most of whom develop a milder form of the infection. However, there is need for hospitalisation when these cases become moderate to severe.
“That shows that they are active in the population. These are the ones who are going out very often. Fortunately for many of the younger people who have had the infection, they probably would have been having a milder form of the infection. A lot of people might have asymptomatic infection, mild forms but once you start have moderate forms and breathing difficulties, you have to come into the hospital,” Dr Anthony expressed.
Many young persons have recovered from the virus within 10 days, without the need for hospitalisation. It is mostly the older population that is falling victim to the virus, which is reflected in the deaths recorded. However, a worrying trend has been detected whereby more younger persons succumbed to the life-threatening disease recently.
“They don’t have many symptoms and after 10 days, they get better. They recover. Our challenge over the last couple of weeks is that we have seen a few cases where younger people are coming into the hospital and that we have start analysing those cases and we also seen relatively young persons, probably 40 and so forth who would have some number of comorbidities but they have come in to the hospital, had the severe form of COVID and then died.”
Dr Anthony said the data is being examined to find a solution but persons can take the responsibility of getting themselves immunised and reducing the risks significantly.
On Thursday, the Health Minister announced that vaccines are open to the adult population, that is 18 years and older. This, he said, is moving closer towards achieving herd immunity.
“All the vaccines that we have in Guyana are being used in the adult population and if we’re really and truly going to achieve herd immunity, it means that we have to get most of our adult population immunised. In an effort to do so, that is why we have lowered the age,” the Minister informed.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that there are currently 74 infected persons hospitalised across the country. These include nine persons at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, three at the New Amsterdam Hospital, another three at Linden Hospital and the remaining at the Ocean View Hospital, where 15 persons are on ventilators to assist with their breathing in the COVID-19 ICU.
According to Dr Anthony, Region Four continues to be the epicentre for the pandemic outbreak in Guyana with several communities emerging as hotspots. These include Diamond, Herstelling and Eccles on the East Bank of Demerara; Kitty and Campbellville in Georgetown along with parts of South Ruimveldt, and Lugisnan and Good Hope on the East of Demerara.