Another person who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) died on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health has announced. This now takes the total number of deaths from the pandemic in Guyana to 210.
The latest fatality is a 42-year-old male from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), who died while receiving care at a medical facility.
This is the country’s third COVID-19 fatality for the week, which started with the death toll at 207. On Monday, an 89-year-old female, also from Region Three, died, and the following day, a 66-year-old female from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) died – both at medical facilities as well.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry also reported on Wednesday that 84 new COVID-19 cases were detected from some 881 tests conducted in the last 24 hours.
According to the updated COVID-19 Dashboard, the total number of confirmed cases in Guyana is now 9322. However, only 732 of these cases are currently active. Seven of these patients are in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the remaining 725 persons are in isolation as follows: 41 are in institutional isolation and 684 are in home isolation.
There also are 12 persons presently in institutional quarantine.
Meanwhile, the total number of persons who have recovered from the life-threatening virus has increased to 8381 – 22 more recoveries than the figure reported the previous day.
To date, Guyana has tested some 78,308 persons for the novel coronavirus, of which 4804 males and 4518 females have tested positive since the outbreak of the pandemic here.
Of the 84 new COVID-19 cases recorded on Wednesday, three were detected in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); 12 in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); a whopping 54 in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica); two each in regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); eight in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), and three in Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).
The figures remain the same in Region One (Barima-Waini), Eight (Potaro-Siparuni), and Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).
As the number of positive cases continues to spike, Government has rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination campaign to curb the spread of the virus, with frontline health workers being the first to benefit, as well as persons over 60 years old.
Parliamentarians and Cabinet Members are also now being inoculated. In fact, several Members of Parliament on Wednesday turned up at Parliament Buildings to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.
In keeping with the protocols established for the national vaccination programme, the recipients were provided information on the vaccine, and had their concerns addressed before being vaccinated, the Department of Public Information (DPI) has said in a report.
Among those vaccinated were Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir, who expressed gratitude to the Government for securing the vaccines for the nation.
“It is important that we tell our people that vaccination is something highly recommended, and as Speaker, I want to be among the first also to be vaccinated. I feel that it’s more than necessary. It is not sufficient to talk the talk, but we need to do the walk. Today I am pleased to see quite a few Members of Parliament here,” he said.
To this end, the Speaker said the Government would soon be able to provide the vaccine to all Guyanese.
Additionally, Deputy Speaker and Opposition MP Lenox Shuman also received his COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday. He was joined by Labour Minister Joseph Hamilton, who said vaccination will no doubt change the course of the pandemic in Guyana and across the globe.
“Every Guyanese should utilise the opportunity to get vaccinated, because we are being told by all of the medical experts that the vaccinated population would help to relieve us from this stress that we have had to live with in Guyana and around the world,” Hamilton said.
His colleague, Government MP Dr. Jennifer Westford, agreed with those sentiments.
“The vaccine is like any other vaccine. It was normal. I didn’t feel when I got it… The registration clerk explained to us what the vaccine is about and how I am going to feel, so I want to encourage every Guyanese to take your vaccines once it is available,” she said.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife Mrs. Sita Nagamootoo were also vaccinated on Wednesday. He told DPI that it is an opportunity to get ahead of the third wave of the disease, “…particularly judging by what is going on on our southern border. We need to protect ourselves, so I want to encourage others to do what I have done and other leaders, to take the vaccine. This gives confidence to our people that it is not the question of safety, but the question is one of protection, and you are better off with the vaccine than if you did not.”
Among others vaccinated were Government MPs Alister Charlie and Sheila Veersammy as well as Opposition MPs Khemraj Ramjattan and Geeta Chandan-Edmond. (G8)