COVID-19: ‘We are in a Delta surge’ – Health Minister

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Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony on Tuesday said Guyana is experiencing a surge of the COVID-19 pandemic and he suspects it is the Delta variant.

The minister said the situation is “worrying” as COVID infections and deaths continue to climb. This he explained may also result in more hospitalisations and, as such, plans are being made to increase the capacity at the Infectious Diseases Hospital and may also see other hospitals being converted to COVID-19 hospitals.

“I want people to understand we are in a delta surge, we are going to see more cases unfortunately, more hospitalisations and more deaths; we can prevent these things from happening if we take precautions,” Dr Anthony stated during his daily COVID-19 update.

Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony.

This Delta variant has been contributing to increasing COVID-19 infections, hospitalisations and deaths across the world. This variant is a mutated strain of the SARS- CoV- 2 virus that causes the disease, COVID-19. This means that it is different from the earlier novel coronavirus that began spreading around the world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that this different form of the coronavirus may become the most prevalent form of COVID-19 globally, but Guyana has not been able to definitively confirm the presence of variants since only 10 samples were ever sent for testing to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago.

When questioned about the testing for variants recently, Dr. Anthony answered, “It doesn’t make much of a difference, all that would tell us is that we have Delta but nothing else.”

Asked about the rationale behind the pause in sending COVID-19 samples to CARPHA to test for variants, his simple response was: “It is what it is.”

On Monday, during his COVID-19 update, Dr Anthony explained that the assumption of the Delta variant circulating in Guyana is being made based on the “clinical parameters that we are seeing”.

Last week, the Trinidadian Health authorities discovered that a traveller from Guyana, who was COVID-19 positive, was infected with the Delta form of COVID-19.

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