Covid-19: More hospitalizations, young people being affected – Health Minister

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Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony today acknowledged that in recent times, there has been an upsurge in positive cases of the novel coronavirus in Guyana.

Even worrying, he said, is that these cases are affecting more young people and are resulting in more hospitalizations.

“It’s not in every region. We’ve seen those cases happening more in Region Four, in Region Three, and in Region Seven. And out of seeing more cases, we’ve started to see more hospitalization… So as of today, we right now have about 70 persons in hospitals,” he noted.

Some 54 persons are at the Ocean View Covid-19 facility while the others are patients at regional health institutions.

“So, at our regional hospitals, we now have more patients coming into them because they require assistance in breathing. So, we’re seeing more cases coming to us. Out of those hospitalized, a percentage of them are much sicker, so they have to get 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. Some ten samples were previously sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to determine if any virus variants are in the country. But in February, those results came back as negative. Since then, no other samples were sent for testing.

“We’re trying to work out arrangements where we can do the testing but so far, we haven’t been able to get additional testing done. We’re hoping we can do some more with CARPHA but those arrangements we’ll have to put them in place,” Dr Anthony said.

“But what we can say based on what we’re seeing clinically, we’re seeing more hospitalization and when people come into the hospital a percentage of those are getting sicker and so we’re having a lot of cases in the ICU and therefore, we know that more people are being affected by this in a very adverse way,” he added.

“We have also seen younger people also being affected and that is quite worrying,” the Health Minister said.

Guyana’s Covid-19 death toll currently stands at 250. An alarming 18 fatalities were recorded in the first seven days of this month. Two of those deaths were young people: 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.