Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony today acknowledged that there has been an increase in positive cases of the new coronavirus in Guyana.
Even worrying, he said, is that these cases are affecting more young people and leading to more hospitals.
“It’s not in every region. We’ve seen those cases happen more in Region Four, in Region Three, and in Region Seven. And out of seeing more cases, we’ve started to see more hospitalizations … So today, we have about 70 people in hospital right now, ”he noted.
The Ocean View Covid-19 facility has about 54 people while the others are patients at regional health institutions.
“So, in our regional hospitals, we now have more patients coming in because they need help to breathe. So, we’re seeing more cases coming to us. Of those in hospital, a percentage of them are much ill, so they must have ICU care. At Ocean View we have about twelve such patients, ”the Health Minister explained.
Authorities are still not sure if there are any variants of the virus in Guyana. Previously, about ten samples were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to determine if there are any virus variants in the country. But in February, those results came back as negative. Since then, no other samples have been sent for testing.
“We are trying to work out arrangements where we can do the tests but so far we haven’t been able to get additional tests. We hope we can do some more with CARPHA but those arrangements will have to be put in place, ”said Dr Anthony.
“But what we can say based on what we see clinically, we see more in hospital and when people come into hospital a percentage of those become ill and so we get a lot of cases in the ICU and so, we know, more people are affected by this very damaging way, ”he added.
“We have also seen younger people also affected and that is very worrying,” said the Health Minister.
Guyana’s Covid-19 death toll is currently 250. 18 alarming deaths were recorded in the first seven days of this month. Two of those deaths were juveniles: a 28-year-old man from Region Two and a 26-year-old man from Region Three.
As of April 6, there were 1034 active cases.