COVID-19 hitting men harder than women 

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..almost twice as many men dying as women in Guyana 

Men in Guyana have been dying from COVID-19 at a much higher rate than women. In fact, data provided by the Ministry of Public Health show that over 170 men have died from COVID-19 since March 2020 while over 102 females have died.

Most men have died from Region Four at over 70 men. This is followed by men in Regions 1, 3 and 7. Meanwhile, the Regions with the least male deaths are Regions 2, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. The oldest man to die from COVID-19 in Guyana was 94 years old and so was the oldest female. However, the youngest male to die from COVID-19, as reported by the Ministry, was a 6-day-old. The youngest female was 25 years old.

Guyana is not the only country to have reported more male deaths than females as a result of the virus. According to the Washington Post, the difference persists in Asian countries, such as South Korea and China; in European countries, such as Italy; and in Western Countries such as the United States of America. Since early on, in mid-October 2020, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the coronavirus had killed almost 17,000 more American men than women. For every 10 women claimed by the disease in the United States, 12 men have died.


There are many factors being considered that may have led to this reality. This includes men perhaps being more likely to be exposed to the virus due to social factors; a disproportionately male workforce which could place more men in contact with infected people; or men’s lungs being more vulnerable because they were more likely to smoke globally.

A Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) research from the commencement of the pandemic up to January 2021 stated: “In a meta-analysis of existing data, it was found that males might be more at risk of having a severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, with 50 percent more males hospitalized compared to females. When considering the higher likelihood of males having more severe manifestations of COVID-19, the differences between biological pathways of how males and females fight off viruses have been examined. In general, females tend to produce more effective and adaptive immune responses to viruses, which factors into the less severe cases of COVID-19.”

In Guyana, there is an ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme for both males and females. The Ministry of Health has advised all persons over the age of 18 who desire to be vaccinated to do so in the interest of their health and others. The Ministry also continues to advise persons to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines such as social distancing, mask wear, handwashing and healthy eating.

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