Another child in COVID-19 ICU; four children now hospitalised


There are now two children receiving treatment in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the National Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Georgetown, while two others are hospitalised in the transition wards at that facility.

This is according to the Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, who was responding to questions posed by the News Room on Monday during his daily COVID-19 update.

On July 2, the Minister revealed that three children were hospitalised at the Liliendaal hospital; one child was receiving treatment in the ICU. Another child was subsequently admitted.

The ICU usually treats those severely ill patients who have been infected with SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes the disease, COVID-19; the patients in the ICU include those who have difficulties breathing on their own.

“While most of the cases (in children) so far have really been mild, over the last two weeks or so we have seen a disturbing trend and right now in our hospitals, we have four children who have been severely infected by COVID,” the Minister highlighted then.

On Monday, however, the Minister related that two of those children have been discharged since they recovered.

But, he added that more children were admitted to this hospital and that there were a total of four children in the facility, with another child being admitted to the ICU. The other children were in the wards.

“The two that are in the ICU, one has been there for some time now and early this morning another child was admitted to the ICU,” the Health Minister explained.

Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony.

Overall, he said that there are 11 patients in the ICU, while there are 57 people hospitalised in the facility.

When the announcement that children were hospitalised was first made, the Ministry of Health, in a statement, said that the children who were hospitalised have comorbidities.

A comorbidity, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), refers to the presence of one or more additional diseases or disorders in the same individual.

For example, an individual who is affected by COVID-19 is said to have a comorbidity if that individual also has an underlying condition such as diabetes, hypertension or asthma.

On Monday, when asked if all four children have comorbidities, the Health Minister responded in the affirmative and stated, “They have different presentations and different illnesses.”

He emphasised, however, “The doctors are working with them to make sure they get better.”

“For parents, you need to look out for children who have underlying diseases, whether it is asthma or any other underlying conditions, and you need to protect them more than the regular because if they get infected with COVID, you would see that these underlying conditions would contribute to a more severe form of the disease,” the Minister highlighted.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister once again explained that Guyana does not yet have the Pfizer vaccine that can be used to immunise children and as such, COVID-19 vaccines are not administered to children.

It is for this reason, he pleaded with parents to take all necessary precautions- such as ensuring that masks are worn and that crowds are avoided- to protect children.

He further explained: “In the past when children get infected with the SAR-CoV-2 virus, the virus wasn’t as virulent in children meaning they wouldn’t get hospitalised, but with the new variant we are seeing more and more can get into the hospital and that is why there is a necessity to take these precautions.”

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