Delta Variant likely in Guyana – Minster Anthony

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony on Tuesday disclosed that Guyana has been recording a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week indicating that there is a more infectious variant of the disease in the country.

“As of last week, our numbers were relatively low, meaning that it had dropped to about 800 or so, and then we started seeing an increase in those numbers of new cases, and that is very instructive because it’s telling us that we probably have a more infectious variant that is now in Guyana,” the Minister said during Tuesday’s COVID-19 update.

The Minister indicated that the Delta variant of the disease is now in more than 140 countries.

“And as that variant becomes the dominant strain that is circulating in the country, we will see that it’s going to cause more infections, unfortunately, it is going to cause more hospitalisation and it is going to cause more deaths,” he noted.

As such, he is urging those persons who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 or are yet to take their second dose of the Sputnik V, AstraZeneca or Sinopharm vaccines, to complete the process.

Minister Anthony reminded the nation that unvaccinated persons are among those persons being severely affected by the Delta variant.

“So, the thing here, if we are going to protect ourselves against Delta, then we really need to make sure that we are vaccinated, and if we are not vaccinated, then we’ll be at a higher risk to get the disease. So, I really want to urge people, you will have an opportunity here to get vaccinated, we have more than 110 sites, fixed sites that is, that are operating and you can come to any one of these sites, you can start the process by getting your first dose of the vaccine.

“We have now, we have the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm , some J&J and this is available to any adult in this country. There is no rational reason why you should be without the vaccine, if you don’t take that vaccine, it is going to put you at severe risk,” Minister Anthony said.

On Monday, Guyana received 5,000 second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, as well as its first tranche of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, strengthening its arsenal against the Coronavirus and deadly Delta variant. As he urged persons to get their COVID-19 vaccine, Minister Anthony also noted that as of Tuesday morning, there were 146 new cases of Coronavirus in the country, out of 1,917 tests conducted the same day. In total, there are 1,464 active cases across Guyana, 90 of whom are hospitalised. Of that figure, 63 persons are at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal, with 22 patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).