Last updated Wednesday, 7 April 2021, 16:30 by Denis Chabrol
As the coronary virus death toll continues to rise steeply in recent weeks, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony said on Wednesday that Guyana does not know what variants of the virus are here.
“As it relates to what variation or variations we have in Guyana, we do not know because although we would have sent samples to CARPHA for genetic sequencing, results from those samples did not come back indicating that we have any. of the newer variants so we don’t know what variants we have in Guyana and we can only know that if it is confirmed by genetic sequencing, ”he said.
Dr. Anthony advised that samples were routinely collected through tests for the virus, and that the Ministry of Health hoped that arrangements could be in place for them to be sent to CARPHA. In the absence of genetic sequencing, the Health Minister said evidence from the hospitals showed that more and younger people were getting sick.
“What we can say based on what we see clinically is that we see more in hospital, we see when people come into hospital, a percentage of those We get sick so we get a lot of cases in the ICU. So, we know that people are affected by this adversely, ”he said.
The Health Minister said at present, 70 people are in hospital and of the 54 patients at Ocean View Infectious Disease Hospital, 12 are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He said patients are also being admitted at Linden, West Demerara Regional and New Amsterdam Hospital.
There is no idea when CARPHA will take more samples from Guyana to carry out genetic sequencing.
The Health Minister noted that different countries have had varying experiences with the vaccines that would prevent people from becoming seriously afflicted or dying from the viral disease that has so far claimed 250 lives.
Scientists say the SinoPharm vaccine has 79.4 percent efficacy, AstraZeneca 82 percent and Sputnik-V vaccine 91.2 percent.