Blackout delays COVID-19 testing

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A prolonged period of power outage has resulted in the Ministry of Public Health not being able to provide an update on the COVID-19 situation in the country today.

“Regrettably, the update of the situation in Guyana is not available at this time due to the blackout that occurred this morning in Georgetown,” the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Karen Gordon-Boyle said in a video recording released to the media at around 17:00hrs today.

At that time, she said the lab was still processing samples obtained.

As of yesterday, the country recorded seven new cases – all of which were from Region One (Barima Waini) – bringing the total cases recorded to date to 284.

“The situation in our country is becoming increasingly alarming, since over this past week we have recorded the highest number of cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country,” the DCMO said.

According to the health official, “Guyana compared to other countries has a very high COVID-19 death rate, currently 6% of all infected cases have died; for a country with less than one million inhabitants, this rate is very high.”

Dr Gordon-Boyle reminded that authorities have been pleading with all residents across the country to act responsibly and comply with the guidelines.

“Friends, if the number of positive cases and deaths are not evidence enough of the presence and effects of COVID-19, then we are in a very terrible position in our response to this disease. I must make it clear that the measures instituted by the Ministry of Public Health are consistent with the management of highly contagious diseases. The health system is already overburdened with responding to this current situation, and if this becomes worse, then we will not be able to manage, and what is happening in next door Brazil will become our reality,” she expressed.

“So, I launch an appeal yet again to the young in our population, especially our 20-29-year olds, who have been openly disregarding the regulations to reflect on their behavior and ponder on the way this lifestyle is contributing to the COVID-19 situation in our country. For fear of repeating myself, I wish to state that in Guyana, the coronavirus disease is not exclusive to the elderly, but as the statistics have shown, our males in the age group mentioned above have been most vulnerable. Further, we have discussed the potential damage that COVID-19 can cause,” the DCMO further posited.

“Are we so uncaring about our life that we have no regard for the future, for our offspring? I ask you to spare a thought to the potential you all possess and the waste of that precious gift that will result if you continue blatantly in this current vein. Remember all it demands is a little effort that is not costly on your part. Our health workers are resolutely doing their part, so why can’t you?”