Health official in Guyana reports on COVID-19 deaths among children

Georgetown – The Guyana government Monday confirmed that 15 children have died as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, since the country recorded its first case of the virus in March 2020.

Overall, Guyana has registered 1 905 deaths and 51 203 infections linked to the virus.

Minister of health, Dr Frank Anthony, speaking at the daily COVID-19 update briefing, told reporters that most of those who died had a range of co-morbidities.

“We continue to monitor and try to decipher what is causing the deaths. For some of those children that would have been hospitalised, we know for sure some of the comorbidities that they have had and the challenges, because some of them, the prognosis was poor with their underlying diseases and then they got COVID, so that complicated the problem,” Anthony said.

Over the past few days, four children were reported to have died as a result of the virus and the minister said the Ministry of Public Health is currently investigating those deaths.

“We would have seen the four deaths of children and this is something we will do some further investigation on, because of the four, three of the children . . . were dead before arrival to the hospital,” Anthony said.

“Within the ministry we have a small committee of doctors who are going to get those charts and review them more thoroughly and do some interviews with the family of these children, so hopefully that will give us a better understanding of what is happening.”

Meanwhile, Anthony has apologised to the family of a four-year-old child who died as a result of COVID-19 in Mabaruma, Region One.

The case received public attention, last week, when images of the child’s father lifting his body to the cemetery, circulated in social media.

“This is not the standard procedure . . . once the child, or anybody is pronounced dead, they are in the mortuary, and then there is an official hand over of the body to the family . . . . There is a vehicle that operates between the police and the Ministry of Health and so somebody ought to have assisted the family in getting the body to the cemetery or to the site of burial.

“There was some mix up between the staff of the ministry and the police, and therefore this did not happen in a timely manner. They didn’t get the vehicle in a timely manner and apparently the family proceeded to bury the child,” Anthony said. (CMC)

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