Guyanese accused of “careless, callous behaviour” as COVID-19 cases rise

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Guyanese accused of “careless, callous behaviour” as COVID-19 cases rise
Dr. Karen Boyle
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Karen Boyle

(GUYANA CHRONICLE) — Reducing the transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease continues to be important at this time, as the infection rate continues to increase, with the latest statistics showing that there were four new cases over the past 24 hours.

The new cases took the national total of confirmed cases to 113, a figure, which health authorities said is alarming because it is climbing almost daily. This increase is being attributed to the “callous” and “careless” behaviour of some Guyanese, who continue to flout the containment measures, and risk the health of not only their families, but the entire population.

“As the ministry’s (Ministry of Public Health) response efforts continue, your behaviour is not encouraging; you continue to flout control measures and to put all at risk. Instead of our curve beginning to flatten, we still see an upward trajectory in positive coronavirus cases,” said Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO), Dr. Karen Boyle, during a COVID-19 update, on Tuesday.

In the last 24 hours, an additional 56 tests were done, bringing the total number of persons tested to 986, with 873 persons testing negative. Despite the high number of negative tests, it does not change the fact that the country has lost ten precious lives to the deadly COVID-19 disease.

And, as it is now, six persons are battling for their lives in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU), while 67 persons are in institutional isolation.

To date, a case has been recorded in every administrative region except Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), said Dr. Boyle

Considering the prevailing conditions, Dr. Boyle said: “We must seriously think about reducing the transmission of this disease and containing the spread of the virus so that we all can return to normalcy. Isn’t this our ultimate goal?

“Therefore, we ask you not only to abide by the rules but those of you who have been in contact with positive cases, we ask you to come forward and provide information about your contacts as well so that you and your loved ones can avoid the risk of contracting this disease and possibly losing your life,” said the DCMO.

Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) remains the epicentre of the disease, and there are a number of communities, outside of Georgetown, which have recorded cases. Among communities on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) where cases were recorded are: Atlantic Gardens, Friendship, Golden Grove, Good Hope, Lusignan, Plaisance, and Strathspey. Among communities on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) where there were cases are: Diamond, Grove, Land of Canaan, Providence, and Timehri.

Just recently, in an effort to improve the response to the pandemic, the Public Health Ministry had launched its mobile unit at the East La Penitence Health Centre, as well as at the community COVID-19 facilities of Region Four at Herstelling, on the EBD, and at Paradise, on the ECD.

The measures can continuously be implemented, but it is up to the individuals, that is the average Guyanese, to adhere to those measures and think seriously about flattening the curve (reducing the spread).

“We must seriously think about flattening the curve and containing the spread of the virus so that we all can return to normalcy. Therefore, we ask you to put aside fear & stigma and come forward and provide the information so that your loved ones, your friends or acquaintances can avoid the risk of contracting this disease and possibly losing their life,” said Minister Lawrence.

There is, however, a glimmer of hope for society, as one more person recovered recently from COVID-19, taking the number of recoveries to 36.

The disease, however, remains a serious issue, not just in Guyana, but globally. And, according to global statistics, there are over four million cases of COVID-19, with over 278,000 deaths. And with no approved treatment or cure, there is no assurance that persons will survive after contracting the disease. In the absence of approved medications, governments and authorities across the world have employed a number of preventative measures to contain the spread of the disease.

The Ministry of Public Health continues to work with the residents in the border communities to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. Additionally, the government has extended its emergency measures to combat the dreaded disease, with the imposition of a 12-hour curfew on citizens. These emergency measures were taken pursuant to Paragraphs (1) and (2) (b) of the directive issued by the President, in accordance with the Public Health Ordinance, Cap. 145, and published in the Official Gazette, Legal Supplement B, on March 16, 2020. These measures have been extended to June 3, 2020.

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