Big drop in COVID deaths but Health Minister says ‘don’t throw caution to the wind’

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Based on the number of COVID-19 deaths recorded for the year so far, there has been a significant drop in COVID-19 deaths when compared to 2021 but Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony urged people to maintain some level of precaution since the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over.

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony, during an interview with the News Room on Friday, detailed that there has been a total of 1,286 COVID-19 deaths recorded since March 2020.

Of that number, 164 deaths were recorded in 2020; 891 in 2021 and 231 in 2022.

While comparing last year’s figures to this year, the Health Minister attributed the significant drop in COVID-19 deaths to greater vaccination and a better response from health professionals.

Guyana’s most recent COVID-19 death was recorded this month. Before that, another death was recorded in November.

Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony

Outside of the deaths, the number of infected people is not far lower than when compared to last year. Of the 71,963 COVID-19 infections recorded since March 2020, some 31,899 people were infected this year.

That number is not far lower than the 33,715 cases recorded in 2021. A total of 6,349 cases were recorded in 2020.

But with the holiday season in full swing and people itching to return to normal celebrations, Dr. Anthony is urging everyone to maintain some precautions since there are new variants of the coronavirus still circulating.

“COVID is not over, unfortunately.

“I think most people, they’ve become fatigued, they don’t wanna wear masks, they want to socialise and they haven’t been able to do this for the last two years and a lot people are throwing caution to the wind but we should still be mindful that COVID is still out there,” Dr. Anthony told the News Room.

What will have a more pronounced impact on keeping people safe, the Health Minister said, will be a greater uptake of COVID-19 booster shots.

According to him, a majority of the population took their primary doses (their first and second doses) but less than 100,000 people took a booster shot (a third dose).

Further, less than 5000 people took a second booster shot.

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