GUYANA has recorded 16 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in just 24 hours, a worrying indication for this country as authorities continue to battle the dreaded disease.
According to statistics released by health authorities, those cases were found following 68 COVID-19 tests, which were conducted between Friday and Saturday.
Authorities have so far tested 2,779 persons, with 2,507 of those persons proving negative and 272 positive. Of the positive cases, some 120 persons have recovered and 14 persons have died, but authorities are still monitoring 138 active cases. Three of the active cases are being treated in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while the remaining cases are in institutional isolation.
Considering the severity of COVID-19 and its effects, persons need to be aware that the safety of every Guyanese is dependent on the compliance with control measures, which were implemented by local health authorities to contain the spread of the disease. Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) is still the epicentre of the disease, and there are a number of communities outside of Georgetown which have recorded cases.
Among communities on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) where cases have been recorded are: Atlantic Gardens, Friendship, Golden Grove, Good Hope, Lusignan, Plaisance, and Strathspey; among those on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) are: Diamond, Grove, Land of Canaan, Providence, and Timehri.
According to the existing statistics, Regions One (Barima-Waini), Four and Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) continue to have most of the cases.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO), Dr. Karen Boyle, in a past report, had said Regions One and Seven, in particular, have recorded a rapid increase in the number of cases being recorded.
Just Thursday, this newspaper reported that COVID-19 claimed the life of a miner from Bartica, Region Seven, Abdool Khan.
“Fellow Guyanese, the new COVID-19 death has occurred in Region Seven, in a family where the spouse and the children are now left without a father, the breadwinner, and the one on whom the family looked for comfort and protection.
“I am pleading with you, to stop and spare a thought not only for your safety, but that of your family, neighbours and residents in the communities,” said the DCMO.
She advised persons to co-operate with the compliance division of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Civil Defence Commission, the army and the police, who will be working collaboratively with the Ministry of Public Health to contain the spread of this deadly disease in hinterland communities.
“We are calling on all the residents to cooperate with the health officials as we work to contain the spread of the disease in your communities,” she advised.
Health authorities have found that a large number of positive cases, in these regions, have no signs and symptoms, so they are asymptomatic. These persons can transmit this disease and the infected persons will not even know that they are sick because there is no sign.
Toshaos and village councillors, operations owners all have a role to play in this pandemic. Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, had called on them to impress upon villagers and workers the importance of what is being said. All of the evidence points to the fact that if the guidelines are followed, the disease will be contained.
Considering the situation, Dr. Persaud had said residents of the community need to “be on guard” and take all necessary precautions in order to prevent further spread of the disease.
“We are urging you to support the health team in this area by coming forward for testing if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive; by staying home unless it is necessary for you to come out, and if you must come out, ensure that your noses and mouths are covered.”
We ask that there is no congregating of persons, and that all passenger vehicles adhere to the guidelines that were provided. “We wish to also remind you of the runaway situation in neighbouring Brazil that has climbed to the position of being the second country in the world to have reported cases with an alarmingly high number of deaths registered,” said Dr. Persaud.
COVID-19 remains a serious issue not just here in Guyana, but globally as well, and, according to global statistics, there are 10.7 million cases of COVID-19, with over 517,000 deaths. And, with no approved treatment or cure, there is no assurance that persons will survive after contracting the disease. In the absence of approved medications, governments and authorities across the world have employed a number of preventive measures to contain the spread of the disease.