PAHO/WHO now predicts 20,000 COVID-19 cases for Guyana by May 5


By Isanella Patoir

A new study done on Wednesday by the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) and the Ministry of Public Health revealed that Guyana can see over 20,000 cases of the new Coronavirus by May 5.

This study has now rubbished a previous model by PAHO/WHO last week which had predicted 1400 cases.

PAHO/WHO Country Representative for Guyana, Dr William Adu Krow told the News Room Thursday that the study suggests that if Guyana does not respond rapidly to prevent the spread of the deadly disease, then it will spiral out of control and this he said is very frightening.

“Yesterday [Wednesday] we did another model with PAHO, my office and the Ministry of Public Health and we realize that if we don’t do something differently, if we don’t increase the way we prevent ourselves from getting the disease, by May 05 we could have as many as 20,000 cases and that is scary,” Dr Adu Krow told the News Room.

Resident representative of the Pan-American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) in Guyana Dr. William Adu-Krow [Photo: Avidesh Narine/News Room]
The study found that with every case another 2.5 persons will be affected within five days if there is no partial lockdown and if persons do not exercise effective social distancing.

“That 2.5, if I infect you, you infect 2.5 others and they infect another 2.5. Within a month we will get over 20,000; it a simple model but it makes a lot of sense,” Dr Adu Krow said.

Dr Adu Krow highlighted that if this should happen, 5% or 1000 of those infected, would need intensive care and Guyana simply does not have the capacity for this.

“We need to be serious, we need to think seriously and act seriously.

“We cannot close the airports and inconvenience ourselves, let children stay home and inconvenience the children and parents and then we go about our business as usual,” Dr Adu Krow said.

A previous study done by PAHO last week predicted that Guyana would have seen 1400 positive COVID-19 cases.

Dr Adu Krow explained that Guyana would need 180 doctors and 230 nurses to effectively tackle the deadly global pandemic.

Meanwhile, Dr Adu Krow also noted that the Government’s response in the fight against COVID-19 has been “fairly good.”

“This is a ship that we have to sail with and the ship is not fully built, so we are building it and still sailing with it. This is a novel disease. I don’t think the country has come in contact with anything as serious as COVID-19 except the floods in 2005.”

Dr Adu Krow is urging citizens to take the disease seriously and take the necessary precaution.

As of April 1, Guyana recorded 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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