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…32 lives snuffed out
…66 in total for the first quarter
By Lisa Hamilton
The month of March was the deadliest month for the year 2021 regarding COVID-19 deaths in Guyana. A total of 32 persons lost their lives to the virus as of March 29, 2021, with double deaths on several occasions.
The first death for the month was announced on March 2. After then, there were 9 double deaths announced on a given day with the others being single deaths. The youngest person to die in the month of March was a 30-year-old female from Region Four while the oldest was an 89-year-old female from Region Three.
Males, however, died in a higher number than females. A total of 18 males died compared to 14 females. When it comes to age, 40.6% of the total deaths in March were persons in their 60s. This is followed by 21.9% of persons in their 70s and 18.8% of persons in their 50s.
Persons in their 30s, 40s and 80s were among the least for the month to perish as a result of the virus.
Compared to previous months, January saw a total of 13 deaths while February saw 21 deaths. Along with March’s whopping 32, this brings the total to 66 deaths in just the first quarter alone.
Hoping to combat the deadly possibility of contracting the virus, the Government has put in place national restrictions and guidelines while the Ministry of Health is pushing forward with its vaccination programme.
The Ministry has commenced COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers and persons 60 and older nationwide and has recently lowered the current preference age to persons 40 years and older, beginning March 31, 2021.
All that persons need to receive the vaccine is a valid form of identification when visiting the vaccine site. “The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age…the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and will reduce your chance of becoming severely ill or hospitalized,” the Ministry has urged.
Only on Monday, March 29, 2021, Guyana received 24,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses through the COVAX Facility. In a press statement, UNICEF Guyana said this delivery is part of the first phase of deliveries for Guyana, with more vaccines expected to arrive successively during 2021.
On Tuesday, according to President Irfaan Ali, Guyana is expected to receive 200,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia.
The President said: “This is the utmost priority for me. Personally, I am taking this on as a task in ensuring that our population is vaccinated and that as quickly as possible, we can return our country to some level of normalcy and get out of this pandemic.”
On the other hand, APNU+AFC Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon has long called for a formal meeting with the President to discuss several matters. Among these is the dissatisfaction with the Opposition’s non-representation on the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF); the distribution of the COVID-19 relief cash grant; and preventative measures against the spread of the virus altogether.