Four new COVID-19 cases within 24 hours
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Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Boyle
Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Boyle

–Nine persons recover from the disease

THERE continues to be a consistent rise in the number of Novel Coronavirus
(COVID-19) cases, with Guyana recording four new cases within the past 24 hours.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO), Dr. Karen Boyle said those cases were found following 25 COVID-19 tests, which were done on Friday.
The authorities have so far tested 3,112 persons, with 2,822 testing negative and 290 being positive for the disease. Nine of the infected persons have recovered and were medically cleared by the authorities. Those persons joined the 125 others who have already recovered from the disease.
The country, however, lost 16 persons to the dreaded virus, and the authorities are still managing 140 active cases, six of which are being treated in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Cases of the disease have been detected in nine of the country’s ten administrative regions, with Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) being the latest one to record a case of the disease.

Health authorities believe that there are more unknown cases of the disease, and it is important for persons to utilise the mobile testing units and COVID-19 facilities, so that those unknown cases can be detected.
“Just remember that the earlier you seek medical assistance, the easier it is for the health personnel to provide the timely care and treatment you need,” Dr. Boyle said.

Regarding the testing capacity in Guyana, she assured the nation that the country compares favourably when compared to some of the other countries in the region.
Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago are the only two countries ahead of Guyana in terms of testing rate, but the country is doing better than Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Haiti and Grenada.
“So, bravo to the staff at the Reference Lab who are going above and beyond to ensure that the tests are run, and the results are available in a timely manner,” Dr. Boyle said.

It is, however, evident that Guyanese are still taking the disease lightly, and this is proven by the findings of a survey conducted by the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with UNICEF.

The two main results of the survey were that the level of fear of becoming infected with COVID-19 has decreased from 81.6 per cent to 53.5 per cent; and that 30 per cent of respondents reported their unwillingness to give up their daily practice and adhere to guidelines provided.
“I wish to emphasise that the decline in your fear factor may be as a result of your tiring from the constant messages concerning COVID-19. Nonetheless, I wish you to recognise that our cases are still on the increase, and that we all are susceptible. COVID-19 is a ‘smart Alec’, according to our Guyanese parlance, so the best approach is not to behave as the 30 per cent of those persons in the survey who are unwilling to give up their free lifestyle; rather, let us try to avoid being infected, and to safeguard ourselves from the potential damage that COVID-19 can cause,” Dr. Boyle advised.

COVID-19 remains a serious issue not just here in Guyana, but globally as well, and according to global statistics, there are 11.8 million cases of COVID-19, with over 545,000 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.

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