‘Too many people believe COVID has disappeared’ – Health Minister

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Almost 38,000 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus locally and nearly 1,000 of those people have died but the Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony says it appears as though many people believe that the disease has simply disappeared.

While emphasising that the emergence of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus presents all countries with a renewed COVID-19 threat, Dr. Anthony urged people to get vaccinated and to abide by the other public health guidelines. These guidelines include remaining socially distant, wearing face masks and constant sanitisation.

These guidelines have been instituted for almost two years now since the novel coronavirus emerged as a global concern and its continued spread resulted in the existing COVID-19 pandemic.

But Dr. Anthony said that there seems to be an increasingly lackadaisical attitude in Guyana.

“There are still many people who believe that somehow COVID has disappeared from Guyana.

“They’re walking around without masks, they’re entering buildings without masks, they don’t want to keep social distancing, there’s a lot of overcrowding in lots of the shops and people are going around to do Christmas shopping and all of that,” the Health Minister lamented.

Over the past few weeks, the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths have started to decline after a deadly surge, attributed to the Delta variant. During the peak of the Delta surge, in the months of October and November, 302 deaths were recorded while 10,073 people were infected.

Scientists predicted that the next surge would occur during the Christmas season, as families and friends gather despite the COVID guidelines. But, with the Omicron variant, that surge may come sooner than expected.

As such, Dr. Anthony made a fervent appeal for people to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines that have been published in the Official Gazette.

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