Look hard enough you will find the Brazilian variant

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Dear Editor,

I noticed Dr. Frank Anthony is “celebrating” that ten Covid samples sent to CARPHA returned negative results for the Brazilian variants.
But before I dissect the nonsensical celebration, permit me to first use this analogy. Let’s imagine you have a non-transparent bag that has one thousands balls of ten different colours, including red. If you placed your hand in that bag ten times but never withdraw a red ball, does that mean that no red ball is in the bag?

Now some difficult questions for Dr. Frank Anthony.

1. Who made the determination that ten samples are a statistical reflection of a country with a population of 750,000?


2. Were these ten samples collected randomly from high risk regions close to Brazil?

3. Were these samples from critically ill patients?

4. How frequently are samples collected to be sent to CARPHA?

The fact is, taking samples from areas where the variant virus density is low is completely useless. Further, not taking samples frequently is akin to placing your hand only once in the aforementioned bag of one thousand balls and hoping to withdraw the magic red ball. The fact is samples need to collected everyday. It is a deadly variant. This is not a virus to be playing Russian Roulette with. Furthermore, collecting a sample of ten which is not representative of the whole population will likely result in only one outcome.

The Brazilian variant has been around for months even as Brazilians and Guyanese frequently crossed the porous borders. As a matter of fact, it was only two weeks ago that flights to and from Brazil were stopped. This is Covid and not the common cold. The only virus more infectious than the Covid virus is measles. The Brazilian variant is in Guyana, the Government is not looking hard enough for obvious reasons.


Dr. Mark Devonish MBBS MSc Med.

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