Guyana capable of detecting Delta variant; unvaccinated persons at higher risk of infection

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With the Delta coronavirus variant spreading in a number of countries including the United Kingdom, United States and India, Guyana’s Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony has assured that the country is capable of detecting this newer strain of the virus even as he warned that unvaccinated persons are at higher risk of becoming infected with this more severe version of the disease.

“The test kits that we have would be able to detect this particular variant,” Dr Anthony said during today’s update on the novel coronavirus situation in the country.

The Delta variant, also known as the B.1.617.2 strain, has spread rapidly. It has been reported in dozens of countries, and is 40% to 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant first identified in England, said the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Guyana’s Health Minister has noted that “this particular strain of the virus would have caused a lot of people getting infected and hospitalised. In some cases, hospitals could not cope with the amount of persons who required hospitalization and there were lots of persons who died…”

Dr Anthony noted that some research has suggested that the current novel coronavirus vaccines may not be as effective in protecting someone from contracting the Delta variant, but he assured that it will lower the risks.

“There are also some concerns that this variant, because of some of the mutations it has, vaccines might not be as effective as they should. However, some of the studies that have been done, if you’re fully vaccinated, it protects you from the most severe form of the disease that this particular variant can generate. If you’re not vaccinated, of course you’re putting yourself at risk,” he said.

In this regard, the Health Minister is pleading with the population to get vaccinated.

To date, 230,486 persons have received their first dose of a vaccine, representing 47.3% of the adult population. Meanwhile. 104,605 persons or 21.5% of the population is fully inoculated.