With a significant increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony believes that the rapidly spreading Omicron variant may be in Guyana.
There has been no confirmed case of this new strain, but the Minister said “with the way that this has rapidly progressed over the last couple of days we suspect that from an epidemiological point of view, that we might have omicron that is in circulation here.”
He pointed to the rapid increase in daily cases from December 28, 2021, to January 03, 2022. On December 28, 2021, Guyana recorded 32 new cases of the COVID-19 disease. On December 29, there were 87 new cases followed by 161 on the 3oth, 182 on the last day of the year and 209 on January 01, 2022. On January 02, a total of 284 new cases were recorded bringing the total over the six days to 941.
A total of 98 COVID-19 cases were recorded on Monday, according to the Minister.
“Relatively low numbers of tests, but the positive cases remain relatively high to the tests that were done,” Dr. Anthony said.
Currently, there are 1396 active cases and where there is an increase in all regions, some regions stand out like Region Three with 112 cases, Region Four with 846 cases, and Region Six with 236 cases.
So far, 40 persons are currently hospitalised with Covid-19 with 20 at the Ocean View facility. Six of those are in the ICU, while two are below the age of 18 years.
The minister said persons have also become complacent and is therefore urging the public to continue to practice the safety measures that have been put in place to guard against infection of the respiratory illness.
“We need to be extra vigilant, the same public health measures that we have been talking about… we have to practice them, they are not going to protect you if you are not practising them,” he said.
Dr. Anthony said based on trends in other countries, while there are lots of cases, hospitalisation is less, and even when there is hospitalisation, the duration of stay is shorter.
However, the local health system is prepared if that trend changes here.