Certain medical conditions up risk of severe COVID-19, death -Dr. Bovell

As the Government expands and increases its efforts to curb the transmission of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health is urging the public, especially persons with certain medical conditions to engage in healthy practices to reduce their risk of infection. 

Dr. Tracey Bovell, Chairperson of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation’s COVID-19 Task Force, in an interview with DPI on Tuesday, said persons with comorbidities are at increased risk of severe illness from the disease.

Comorbidities are both communicable and non-communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes or hypertension.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of persons who actually need hospitalisation. [The] majority of the patients who are critically ill happen to have comorbidities,” Dr. Bovell said.  

While this remains a major cause for more people dying from COVID-19 complications, Dr. Bovell acknowledged that some persons who may not have any of these complications also succumb to the disease. However, many who die from the illness also may have had an undiagnosed health condition.

Even with the increase in hospitalisation rates in Guyana, the staff working directly with critically ill patients are always hopeful for their patients’ full recovery. This is where evidence-based medicine is administered.

With deaths being reported every day, Dr. Bovell said it is not easy on the staff as they all work diligently to save those lives.  

“There are also times when we would have done everything we can and unfortunately you lose some patients, which is not exactly easy on frontline workers but we continue… No one likes to have a death on their shift and no one likes to have a death of any of the patients that you are actually caring for,” she said.

Dr. Bovell is encouraging citizens to observe the emergency COVID-19 measures to reduce the risk of infection and death.

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COVID-19 Alert!

Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.