…1 death, 153 new cases recorded
Government has widened the eligibility requirement for COVID-19 vaccination to now allow for persons 18 years and older to get immunised against the novel coronavirus.
This announcement was made by Health Advisor, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, as well as several other key Government officials in social media posts on Thursday evening.
“We go to all age groups starting at age 18 and above as of [today] for COVID -19 vaccination,” Dr Ramsammy said in a post on Facebook.
Guyana commenced its COVID-19 vaccination exercise in February and to date, more than 70,000 persons have received the first of two doses.
In a statement earlier on Thursday, Dr Ramsammy reassured that there were enough COVID-19 vaccines in storage to provide all persons who have received their first dose with their second dose.
“Many persons have been calling expressing concern that they will not be able to get their second dose. Their concerns have been heightened by rumours that the Ministry of Health has been using up all vaccines that have come into the country. These rumours are the work of persons with malicious intent. The Government of Guyana and the Ministry of Health have ensured that for everyone receiving a first dose, there is an equivalent amount of vaccine doses stored away. We assured persons not to worry, their first doses are secured safely and there will be no delay in them receiving their second doses,” he posited.
As the vaccination rollout continues with almost 100 permanent sites in the 10 regions along with temporary sites in some areas, outreaches are being conducted in communities on a daily basis to get more persons immunised.
With the vaccines Guyana has already acquired, once their arrival, the country will be able to fully vaccinate 261,000 persons. The Health Ministry’s goal is to administer 100,000 first doses by early next week.
During the COVID-19 update on Thursday, Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony disclosed that the 83,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccines that were expected to arrive here this week would come in the new week.
“Originally, we were thinking we would get them this week, but when we look at logistical plan, those vaccines would be arriving early next week,” Dr Anthony explained.
Government has bought some 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccines to the tune of $4 billion. Already, Guyana has received some 55,000 doses of the Russia-made jab and with the additional 83,000 expected, more persons in the country will be inoculated.
“Our vaccine exercise has been quite good. As of [Wednesday], we had more than 70,000 persons who have already received first shots and those who took the Sinopharm vaccine, many of them are due for their second shot. So, once they get their second dose, they’ll become fully immunised,” Minister Anthony noted.
Death, new cases
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry on Thursday reported that another person who tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has died.
The latest fatality is a 94-year-old male from Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), who died on Wednesday while receiving care at a medical facility.
With this, the total number of deaths from the virus in the country is now 263 – with 20 in the month of April, and eight for this week, so far.
Moreover, a whopping 153 persons have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in a 24-hour period.
According to the updated COVID-19 dashboard on Thursday, the total number of confirmed cases in the country is now 11,527.
But only 1249 of these are currently active cases. These include 10 patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the other 1239 persons in isolation – 78 persons in institutional isolation and 1161 in home isolation.
There are also eight persons in institutional quarantine.
To date, some 10,015 persons have recovered from the life-threatening virus in Guyana – 135 more recoveries than the figure reported the previous day.
Meanwhile, Guyana has tested some 104,531 persons thus far for the novel coronavirus, of which 5647 males and 5680 females were positive.
Of the 153 cases detected on Thursday, one each was detected in Regions One (Barima-Waini) and Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); 31 in Region Three; a whopping 82 cases in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica); four in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice); eight in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); nine cases in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni); 10 in Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo and seven in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
The figure for Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) remains the same.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases and death toll comes as local authorities continue to battle with a new wave of the coronavirus that is seeing infected persons becoming sicker and requiring hospitalisation. (G8)