COVID-19: 5 more dead, 33 in ICU; more beds being added to COVID hospital

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As Guyana grapples with a surge in COVID-19 deaths and cases, five more persons have died from the dreaded disease in the last 24 hours bringing the total number of deaths since March 2020 to 618.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, in his COVID-19 update on Tuesday, revealed that there are 145 new cases, which means that the total cases now stands at 25,548.

He said there are now 33 patients in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, Georgetown.

The minister also revealed that there are now 1, 933 active COVID-19 cases in the country.

“We are seeing more people getting infected and it is also very worrying because if we don’t manage this carefully, our hospitals can easily become overwhelmed,” Dr Anthony said.

The Infectious Diseases Hospital can only accommodate 200 persons and has an ICU capacity for 40 patients.

He said countrywide there are 111 patients hopsitalised with the virus; 80 are at the Infectious Diseases Hospital. But Dr Anthony assured that the government is working to expand the capacity at the Infectious Diseases Hospital and will also utitlise the field hospital which was donated by Qatar to boost Guyana’s response to COVID-19.

Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony.

The Health Ministry is also working to add 10 beds to the ICU and more beds will also added to the regular ward if it becomes necessary.

“If we start getting more patients we are also looking at a contingency of adding maybe 50 more beds to the Ocean View facility.

“It is going to be challenging going forward with more hospitalisations,” the Health Minister said.

Additionally, some hospitals across the country may have to close some services and be converted to COVID hospitals should the need arise.

“If it becomes necessary that is what we will have to do,” Dr Anthony said.

The minister continues to urge persons to take the necessary precautions and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

To date, 61.1 per cent of the adult population received their first dose vaccine and while this is a good response, Dr Anthony said the conversion to the second dose is low.

Also, 2, 176 children received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

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