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The Ministry of Health on Saturday reported three more Covid deaths and 100 new cases. The deaths pushed the total figure to 462 persons.
As of June 26, 2021, the country recorded 19, 774 confirmed COVID-19 cases, among them, 100 new cases. The Health Ministry said 19 persons are currently battling for their lives in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) while 93 persons are in institutional isolation and another 1,553 persons are in home isolation.
Meanwhile, Senior Head of Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), Dr. Mahendra Carpen said more Afro-Guyanese are dying from the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) than any other ethnicity. He said though, Afro-Guyanese make up 30 per cent of Guyana’s population of approximately 750,000 people, they account for 60 per cent of the COVID-19 deaths at the Infectious Disease Hospital at Liliendaal.
The situation is no different when the total number of COVID-19 deaths are taking into consideration. The Health Ministry said a preliminary study indicates that Afro-Guyanese account for 36.6 per cent of the COVID-19 related deaths across the country; Amerindians, 28.2 per cent; Indo Guyanese, 23.3 per cent and Mixed Race 11.4 per cent.
“It is of great concern to us as a people that we have one segment of our people who seem to have a greater mortality rate,” Dr. Carpen told the Village Voice Newspaper during a recent interview. “Now if you look at the admission at that hospital and the outcome, then it strikes you that in a country that is multi ethnic, multicultural, there is one segment of the population that has a much higher mortality rate when compared to all other ethnic groups combined,” Dr. Carpen said.
But he believes that there is hope. He said Guyana could significantly reduce COVID-19 related deaths if the rate of vaccination increases. “If we look across the world, the conclusions of the data is quite clear, the more people get vaccinated, the less they die, and the less they get vaccinated the more they die. There is a direct correlation with vaccination and mortality,” Dr. Carpen explained.
In providing a COVID-19 Vaccination Update on June 25, 2021, the Health Ministry said 230,486 persons have received the 1st dose of the vaccine while 104,605 persons are now fully vaccinated on the basis that have received the 2nd dose – accounting for approximately 21 per cent of the country’s adult population.
While Region One continues to lead the vaccination campaign with almost 60 per cent of its adult population receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Region 10 continues to lag behind with just 14.3 percent of it of its adult population receiving the 1st dose of the vaccine.
According to the Health Ministry, Region One is at 58.6 per cent, Region Two 43.3 per cent, Region Three at 46.7 per cent, Region Four at 48.7 per cent, Region Five 49.9 per cent, Region Six at 55.1 per cent, Region Seven 46.2 per cent, Region Eight 31.7 per cent, Region Nine at 45.7 per cent, and Region Ten at 14.3 per cent.
Dr. Carpen told this publication that less than 0.1 per cent of the persons, who died in Guyana as result of COVID-19, had received the 1st dose of the vaccine. The Health Ministry has also indicated that no one who has been fully vaccinated has been severely ill or would have died from the virus.
But even as he urged persons living in Guyana to get vaccinated, Guyana has been without the second dose of the Sputnik-V vaccine for more than three weeks. However, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony has assured the nation that the 2nd dose of the Sputnik-V vaccine would be in the country very soon.
Dr. Carpen said he is optimistic that the 2nd dose of the Sputnik-V vaccine will arrive in the country before the 12-week threshold. Notably, persons are required to take the 2nd dose of the vaccine between three and 12 weeks of taking the 1st dose.
He said while the country awaits the 2nd dose of the Sputnik-V vaccine, the 1st dose of the Russian made vaccine is available as well as other vaccines to fight against the disease.
“Keep the faith and keep watching the news, and keep paying attention because it will come, and it will come in a rush and people would want to be in front of the line. I would just want to encourage Guyanese to be patient, keep the faith, and encourage your friends and family, even though we don’t have the 2nd dose of Sputnik now, we still have 1st doses for those who haven’t taken the vaccines as yet, not just Sputnik, we have Sinopharm, we have AstraZeneca. I would like to encourage all residents and all citizens of this country to consider taking the vaccine. It is not mandatory but it is definitely recommended,” Dr. Carpen said.
Caption: Guyanese on Saturday used the opportunity to get vaccinated while in the vicinity of the KK Gas Station during one of the Health Ministry’s Drive Thru COVID-19 Vaccination exercise