Guyana has ‘very high’ COVID-19 death rate – Deputy Chief Medical Officer

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For a country with less than one million people, Guyana has recorded a “very high” COVID-19 death rate, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

In delivering the Ministry’s daily update, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Karen Gordon-Boyle said currently six per cent of all infected cases in Guyana have died.

As of July 7, a total of 284 COVID-19 cases were confirmed with 16 deaths.

“The situation in our country is becoming increasingly alarming since over this past week we have recorded the highest number of cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in our country,” Dr Gordon-Boyle said.

On Wednesday, there were no new results available as a countrywide power outage hindered the National Public Health Reference Laboratory from conducting more tests.

Dr. Gordon-Boyle stated that the tests were running after 17:00h and will be made available later in the evening on the Ministry of Public Health’s Facebook page.

She continued to plead with residents in Regions 1, 4 and 7 to act responsibly and comply with the COVID-19 guidelines.

In direct response to persons who have been doubting the existence of COVID-19, Dr. Gordon-Boyle noted that “if the number of positive cases and deaths are not evidence enough of the presence and effects of COVID-19, then we are in a very terrible position in our response to this disease.”

She said that the measures instituted by the Ministry of Public Health are consistent with the management of highly contagious diseases pointing out that the health system is already overburdened with responding to the situation.

“…and if this becomes worse, then we will not be able to manage, and what is happening in next door Brazil will become our reality,” the health official warned.

On Tuesday several persons in Moruca, which has emerged to be the hotspot for the disease, protested its existence and the lockdown enforced in that sub-district to control the spread of COVID-19.

Guyana’s cases have shown that persons between the ages of 20 to 29 are mostly affected unlike what is seen in other countries.

The youngest patient to have died from the disease is a 25-year-old teacher of Lethem in Region Nine followed by a 34-year-old health worker who was Guyana’s second death.

“I launch an appeal yet again to the young in our population, especially our 20-29-year olds, who have been openly disregarding the regulations to reflect on their behaviour and ponder on the way this lifestyle is contributing to the COVID-19 situation in our country,” the DCMO pleaded.

Dr. Gordon-Boyle pointed out that the longer the disease remain in Guyana will prolong the ongoing curfew period and other restrictions in place.

As such, she cautioned persons relaxing their efforts to mitigate the spread of the deadly disease.

The Ministry of Public Health, using the prefabricated housing units donated by the UNHCR, has extended its screening to Buckhall, Region #3 and Aranka, Region #7.

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