Rise in Covid-19 cases not unique to Guyana – Health Minister

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The National Public Health Reference Laboratory has been working into the nights to process the high number of Covid-19 tests conducted.

On Friday, during his daily Covid update, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said while all the results of tests done are not yet available, over the last 24 hours there were five Covid-19 related deaths in Guyana.

“Right now, we have 113 people in hospital. Most of those persons are in the Ocean View Hospital, with about 13 of them in the ICU, unfortunately, over the last 24 hours we have had five deaths as well,” Dr. Anthony said.

The last figure released was 1,186, positive cases that were detected in the previous 24-hour cycle. The record-high number of cases has been consistent over the past few days. Dr. Anthony noted that while it is uncertain how long this current wave would last, Guyana is not the only country facing a spike in infections.

The health minister noted that as of January 12, 312 million people were infected with the Covid-19, while more than 5.5 million people have died as a result of the disease.

“Over the last 12 weeks, there has been a steady increase in cases, primarily because of the contagiousness of the Omicron variant. We are seeing this across the world. Over the last week alone, the WHO has been reporting that there have been 12. 5M new cases, that is driven primarily by the cases that we are seeing in the Americas.”   

In the last week, cases have gone up by 78. 8 percent in the Americas, while cases have risen by 37 per cent in Europe.

“So, this is not unique to Guyana, we live in a globally connected environment and what happens elsewhere would also impact on us here in Guyana,” Dr. Anthony said.

Guyana has been providing vaccination for the population since February 2021, with more than 81 percent of the adult population taking at least a first dose of a Covid vaccine while close to 60 percent have taken a second dose.

“We have been encouraging people to get vaccinated. With this latest wave, one of the characteristics that we have seen with Omicron is that even if you had two doses of the vaccine, it would not have been as effective as if you got two doses plus a booster,” the health minister explained on Friday.

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