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– cases rise by over 2,000 as pandemic spirals out of control
The deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in Guyana, appears to be spiraling out of control under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, with September dubbed the deadliest month since the first imported case was recorded in the country on March 11, 2020.
Just before the change in Administration on August 2, Guyana, within a four-to-five-month span (March 11-July 30), had recorded a total of 430 cases of the Coronavirus Disease. Of that number, 21 persons had died. At the time, 4,801 persons were tested for the virus with 4,371 yielding negative results.
The pandemic in Guyana, however, took a drastic turn in August, surpassing the 1000 mark by August 26th. By the end of August, 41 persons, of varying age groups had died from the disease. This means that in August alone, 20 COVID-19 deaths were recorded.
Though there are approximately six more days to go before September comes to an end, the month has already chalked up the highest number of COVID-19 deaths. As of Wednesday, September 23, 30 persons have died as a result of the virus; taking the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 71.
The deaths aside, the number of confirmed cases have jumped from 430 on August 1 to 2,535 on September 23. According to the statistics provided by the Ministry of Health, a total of 2,105 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in August and September alone. During this period (August and September), 7,836 persons were tested.
The newly appointed Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, has linked the increase in the number of confirmed cases to the large number of tests conducted since the PPP/C took Office. Earlier this month, he had attributed the spike in COVID-19 deaths to “underlying conditions” experienced by those who have since died.
“Many of those patients who have died had co-morbidities, which is, they had varying diseases” Dr. Anthony explained while noting that the virus was only detected after the victims were admitted to the hospital. However, with the number of deaths rapidly increasing, citizens are questioning whether the COVID-19 patients, particularly those in the Intensive Care Unit, are being properly managed.
Former President David Granger has said that the PPP/C dropped the mantle, when it opted not to utilize the strategic plan left in place by A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Government. Under the Granger Administration, a National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) was established, however, the PPP/C Government upon taking Office dismantled it. The Task Force had worked in conjunction with the Health Ministry to suppress the pandemic while ensuring that the social and economic needs of the people are addressed.