Guyana ends 2020 with 164 COVID-19 deaths

- Health Minister thanks healthcare workers

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Having confirmed its first case of COVID-19 and death on March 11, 2020, Guyana ended the year with a total of 6,332 cases.

Of that amount, 2.6% of those persons died, amounting to 164 while 5,820 (92%) recovered by the end of December 31, 2020.

Region Four, with the largest population recorded 2,704 cases followed by Region One with 937 cases, Region Seven with 537, Region Ten with 518, Region Three with 451, Region Nine with 396, Region Six with 304, Region Eight with 197, Region Two with 189 and Region Five with 99 COVID-19 cases.

Majority of the deaths recorded was also recorded in Region Four and according to health officials, everyone who died suffered from an underlying conditions or what can be referred to as comorbidities.

So far, 38,257 persons have tested countrywide.

A table showing the number of cases, deaths and recoveries recorded in Guyana since March to December 2020 (Photo: News Room)

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony in his final COVID-19 update for 2020 thanked the local healthcare workers for the job they have done in helping to control the pandemic.

“It could have been far worse but because of these persons who have been working in the healthcare system –doctors, nurses, other categories of healthcare workers –have certainly contributed to the reduction of these cases,” he said in an interview with the Department of Public Information on Thursday.

“Many of these persons have gone way beyond the call of duty and we are very grateful for their efforts,” he added.

A graph represents the number of cases, deaths and recoveries in Guyana since March to December 2020 (Photo: News Room)

The Minister pointed out that the Government has been able to significantly improve its capacity for testing and hospitalization of COVID-19 patients.

With Guyana scheduled to access its first COVID vaccine this year, Dr. Anthony said the country will be able to “push back” against the disease.

The first set of the vaccine will be going to the frontline healthcare workers.

Majority of the country’s COVID-19 related deaths were older persons with the exception of a 6-day-old baby with a heart condition, an 11-year-old with Leukemia and a 38-year-old medical professional.

As such, the second batch of the vaccines will be going to the elderly population.

Dr Anthony recently stated that the Guyana Government is looking to close a gap in the country’s vaccination law that addresses adult vaccination ahead of the countrywide rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Guyana only has laws that address vaccination for children. No law was ever put in place for the vaccination of adults.

Guyana will access a COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX mechanism, which was launched in April 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), in response to the pandemic. This mechanism seeks to ensure people in all parts of the world are able to access COVID-19 vaccines once they are available.

In the meantime, on the setting up of the National Vaccine Task Force, Minister Anthony said the private sector and other civil society bodies will lead in this major logistical undertaking.

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