Guyana may record up to 1,400 COVID-19 cases -Health Minister

Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2020, 21:07 by Writer

The Ministry of Public Health on Monday predicted that Guyana could record as much as 1,400 COVID-19 cases and as much as 100 of them would be admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICU), based on a model by the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) .

Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence told an extensive news conference on Monday that up to March 29, Guyana had 8 confirmed cases and one “inconclusive” because laboratory tests could not prove whether that person has that strain of the coronavirus. The death toll remains at one.

Of the 1,400 projected cases, Lawrence said authorities would be preparing for 100 persons to be admitted to ICU, 100 to be isolated countrywide and 730 beds for institutional quarantine.

Debunking statistics by Dr. Frank Anthony of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Lawrence said about 81 percent of Guyana’s cases would be “moderate,” 14 percent “severe” and five percent “critical”.

“As we get more and more numbers, we are able to fine-tune the picture,” said PAHO/WHO Representative in Guyana, Dr. William Adu-Krow.

Latest available statistics show that the eight cases have been distributed in the following manner: one in Region Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands), six in Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica) and one in Region 6 (East Berbice/Corentyne. Of the eight infected persons, one is a child, seven are adults under 60 years and one is an adult over 60 years. The Health Minister says four of the eight confirmed cases are people who recently returned from overseas and five contracted COVID-19 locally. So far 46 persons have been tested, 36 have been placed in institutional quarantine and two have been hospitalised in COVID-19 ICUs.

Lawrence said the Health Ministry, “in an effort to contain and mitigate the further spread of this virus”, would be strengthening its community and hospital and surveillance and rapid surveillance response team.