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– 86 persons are now dead from virus
Eighty-six people have so far died from Coronavirus in Guyana and the total number of cases have climbed to over 3000 the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
On Saturday the ministry disclosed that there were an additional 37 new cases, pushing the total to 3005. 18 persons are in the Covid Intensive care unit.
Regarding the death, the Ministry of Health informed that as of 14:00hrs on October 03rd, 2020, one other person who tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has died. This takes the total number of deaths from the pandemic to 86.
The latest fatality is a 74-year-old female from Demerara – Mahaica (Region 4) who died while receiving care at our medical facility.
The MOH expressed sincerest condolences to the family of the deceased and said it will make every effort to provide all the necessary support during this difficult time to render any assistance needed.
Officials of the Ministry have contacted all relatives and persons to facilitate contact tracing and rapid assistance to everyone who may have been exposed to the now-dead person. The Ministry is also appealing to the general public to respect the confidentiality of the deceased and her family and to allow them to mourn their tragic loss in peace.
The government has been heavily criticised for its handling of the pandemic, with the country recording close to 50 deaths since it took office and the number of cases has climbed rapidly. Despite this, the administration recently relaxed the curfew, allowing citizens to be on the streets later.
Last week Prime Minister Mark Phillips announced that Governmen twas embarking on a massive education campaign dubbed ‘Operation CoviCurb’ to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Phillips made this announcement at a press briefing hosted by the COVID-19 Task Force on Thursday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
“We want to focus on education, moral suasion, communicating aggressively throughout the length and breadth of Guyana and finally to use enforcement measures,” Prime Minister Phillips said.
The Prime Minister also announced that members of the joint services and volunteers will be involved in the operation.
“We envisaged that within the next seven days, we will have over 5,000 persons operating in a multisectoral, inter-agency setting, working throughout Guyana to curb the spread of COVID-19,” Prime Minister Phillips said.
The education campaign will feature conversations on mainstream media and the distribution of flyers. A hotline will also be established to receive reports of persons flouting the emergency measures.
The Prime Minister appealed to the media to join the efforts of the COVID-19 Task Force in its education and enforcement campaign.
Meanwhile, concerning the Guyana Defence Force’s involvement, Chief of Staff, Brigadier Godfrey Bess, said troops would be deployed to assist in Operation CoviCurb.
“The GDF will deploy no less than 500 troops alongside relevant stakeholders and partners and we will interface with citizens, utilising a soft, cogent approach,” he said.
This effort by the GDF is to ensure masks are worn properly in public, social distancing is practised, and citizens comply with social restrictions and the curfew.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Joseph Harmon has described as reckless the decision by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration to open the country’s airports to international travel and reduce the curfew hours to 9pm to 4am amid a growing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Harmon, during a virtual press conference on Friday, said the decision comes at a time when there are close to 3,000 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus Disease in the country. To date, 85 persons have died from the virus – the majority within the past two months.
“This response by government appears contrary to professional advice and places the need to satisfy business interests over the health of our people,” the Opposition Leader
Given the rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, the Opposition Leader is urging Guyanese to safeguard their health by practicing a number of preventative measures.
“Wear a mask in public and even at workplaces where social distancing rules are violated; practice safe social distancing; avoid too much physical contact with people and wash hands regularly and use a hand sanitizer. It is advisable that you get your own sanitizer as we are advised that in some offices and public places, the hand sanitizers are being diluted. Advise your friends and neighbours to observe these rules,” he urged. The Opposition Leader also encouraged Guyanese to observe the rules for safety and enforcement of the COVID-19 19 laws as announced by the government.