COVID-19 transmission high despite emergency measures – MoPH data shows

—Infections figures see steady increase

—More men infected

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, May 21, 2020

Data released by the Ministry of Public Health has shown that despite the emergency measures the rate of transmission continues to climb.

This was disclosed by the Director of Primary Health Care of the Public Health Ministry, Dr. Ertenisa Hamilton during the May 21 COVID-19 update.

Dr. Hamilton noted that the majority of the COVID-19 cases in Guyana (69) were detected and confirmed during the first cycle of the emergency measures which ran from April 3 to May 4, 2020.

Data provided by the surveillance component of the Health Emergency Operations Centre showed that despite efforts and advisories continually issued, local transmission increased.

The second cycle of emergency measures took effect immediately on May 4, and as of May 16, 23 new cases had been confirmed. As of May 21, the total number of confirmed cases stands at 127

Dr. Hamilton, noted the Ministry’s concerned with growing numbers even as the entire country is under curfew, persons are asked to p wear face masks, practice social distancing and other safety guidelines.

She specifically pointed out two hinterland regions which have recorded new cases. “As of today, Region 1, now has 2 confirmed cases in 2 of their subdistricts. Region 7 has a total of 7 cases. This is not good; this is the situation that we were working so hard to prevent.”

She warned that because of the non-adherence to the safety measures the number of confirmed cases continues to rise.

“You will see from the pattern that the expected results from the measures implemented that persons have not participated fully. Where it was expected that the transmission would have slowed, we are still having new cases every day.” Dr. Hamilton explained.

It was also pointed out that 73 of the 127 confirmed cases are men, representing 57 percent of the total number of persons infected. Also, of the 10 recorded deaths recorded, eight of these are men.

Men’s Health Coordinator of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Dennis Bassier underscored that the ratio stands at 71 males: 54 females in terms of positive cases. The age range of the men infected thus far is between 16-59 years.

Dr. Dennis Bassier advised that men act responsibly and help their country in fighting the prevalence of the COVID-19 infection.

“It is a general understanding that men have poor health-seeking behaviour; this is further emphasised by the current situation…. Lots of males that have been positively diagnosed are not single. As a result of this, their partners and children have to be tested due to them being exposed.”

He called on them to stay at home, practice social-distancing, wear their facemasks, become acquainted with the recommended guidelines and put them into practice.

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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.