Guyana to officially confirm presence of Omicron variant within three weeks 

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Guyana is expected to officially confirm the presence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant within three weeks after samples were finally sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago to conduct genomic sequencing.

Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony on Monday revealed that 20 samples were shipped last weekend.

In January this year, Dr Anthony stated that some 50 samples were selected to be sent to CARPHA, but one month later it was revealed that those samples were never sent due to shipping issues.

“Over the weekend we would have sent 20 samples to CARPHA for confirmation, so we would expect the results of the sequencing perhaps in two to three weeks from now, and once we get that we will know what are the variants that are circulating,” Dr Anthony said in his daily COVID-19 update.

Between December 2021 and January/February 2022, Guyana recorded a rapid increase in cases and health authorities linked it to the presence of the Omicron variant – which is more transmissible than other variants.

“…in the late December/January/ February period we would have seen a conversion from Delta to Omicron because of the clinical picture we have seen over this period of time,” Dr Anthony explained.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister had announced that Guyana managed to procure a genetic sequencing machine. It is expected that the government will be able to test for the variants locally.

The machine was received through a malaria project but it can also be used to test for COVID variants.

 

 

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