16-Y-O dies from Covid-19

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A 16-year-old who was diagnosed with Covid-19 and was receiving treatment in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has died.

This was announced today by Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony who noted that the patient had a comorbidity.

“That patient had comorbidity, the patient had a form of cancer and unfortunately died over the last 24 hours. So here is a patient, relatively young, with a comorbidity and dying from Covid,” he explained.

As at today, there are seven children hospitalised with Covid-19; none of them are currently in the ICU.

“We’re seeing that children now are being affected in a more adverse way. So over the last month or so, we’re seeing more hospitalisation with children,” the Health Minister posited.

This latest Covid-19 fatality would be the third child to have died from the life-threatening disease in Guyana.

Previously, an 11-year-old cancer patient who died at the Georgetown Public Hospital on November 6, 2020, was later classified as a COVID-19 death – in keeping with guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In this case, the child died due to complications with cancer but because she was later tested positive for Covid-19, the death had to be classified as a Covid death.

The section of the WHO guidelines relating to the classification of deaths states that “a death due to COVID-19 is defined for surveillance purposes as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness, in a probable or confirmed COVID-19 case, unless there is a clear alternative cause of death that cannot be related to COVID disease (e.g. trauma).”

Additionally, in May 2021, a 17-year-old boy also succumbed after he was infected with Covid-19.

“For now, the parents of these children would have to make sure that there is extra precautions taken. For example, if you know this child is at a high risk for a particular disease…then they should be wearing medical masks. That’s one way of protecting yourself. There are others that one can look at,” the Health Minister explained, noting that parents should consult with their doctors.