Guyana’s Health Minister warns of new wave of COVID infections

Georgetown – Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony on Friday urged Guyanese to get vaccinated amidst concerns that a recent upsurge in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases could be the start of a new wave of infections.

“I want to make an appeal to everyone, make sure that your vaccines are up to date, that you have got your booster shots because there seems to be a new wave that is coming and we’re seeing the beginning of that wave so we need to be prepared,” Anthony said during his daily COVID-19 update.

He said that over the last few months while there has been a decline in testing across the board, resulting in a low number of positive cases being recorded, recently there has been an increase in positive cases.

“COVID is not over, I know a lot of people would want to think so but we are now having an increase in cases despite low levels of testing and we are seeing a number of persons having severe infections that warrants hospitalization,” Anthony said.

Health authorities said that on Thursday, 87 people were tested, with two positive cases being recorded. Six people are now hospitalised at the Infectious Diseases Hospital and the Ministry is tracking 71 people.

The Health Minister said that this is alarming as about four days ago there were very few cases and zero hospitalisations.

He said he believes also that the number of positive cases may be underreported as the only data the Ministry is able to collect is from recognised testing sites but a number of persons are doing home tests and are not reporting the results to the Ministry.

Anthony said over the last few months there has been a decline in vaccinations, but to tackle the rise in cases it is necessary for persons to get vaccinated against the virus and take their booster doses.

He stressed that as the clinical presentation of the COVID-19 virus is closely associated with symptoms of the common flu, persons might be experiencing these symptoms but are mistaking it for flu rather than COVID-19.

“The best way to distinguish between the two is to come and get a test so that you know whether it’s flu or it’s COVID-19. But again I think people need to get themselves tested and report the tests to us,” he said.

Figures show that Guyana has recorded 71  520 cases of the virus with 1 281 deaths since the first case was reported two years ago. (CMC)

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