Massive surge as nearly 500 COVID-19 cases recorded in 24-hrs

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Over the past few days, there has been a significant increase in the number of people infected with the novel coronavirus and on Tuesday, the Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony said that 485 people tested positive in the preceding 24 hours.

This is believed to be the highest number of infections recorded in 24 hours. And, this has taken the number of active cases (people currently positive) to 1,824.

“We can expect that this trend will continue because with the Omicron variant, it is highly contagious and the numbers double every four days or so,” Dr. Anthony said during his daily COVID-19 update.

A majority of the infected people are in various communities in Region Four (Demerara- Mahaica); Diamond, Grove, Non- Pariel, Kitty, Sophia and Lodge are among the ‘hotspots’ with large numbers of cases.

There are a considerably high number of cases in Bartica, Lethem and New Amsterdam as well.

Additionally, 64 people are hospitalised after experiencing the more severe and life-threatening forms of COVID-19; eight of them are receiving critical care in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

On Monday, Dr. Anthony said he suspects that the new Omicron variant is in Guyana and this is contributing to the rapid increase in cases. This suspicion has been complicated by the number of social gathering held during the holiday season despite gatherings against this.

He explained that this variant is more transmissible, meaning that it is spread more easily from one person to another.

For context, on December 28 – one week ago – there were 32 new infections recorded. While this could be that fewer people were getting tested over the Christmas holidays, the number of new daily infections in the days before were less than 50.

But by December 29, the numbers started to increase.

On that day, there were 87 new cases. Then, there were 157 cases on December 30, followed by 178 cases on December 31, a further 206 cases on January 1 and then 281 cases on January 2.

On Monday, 98 new cases had been recorded but Dr. Anthony said that fewer COVID-19 tests had been done.

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