Most persons with COVID-19 do not require hospitalisation – Dr Anthony

Two and a half years into the COVID-19 pandemic, Guyana is recording milder cases, and fewer hospitalisations and deaths from the disease.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony during Friday’s COVID-19 update noted that this could be credited to the many persons who took the first dose of the vaccine.

He said while vaccination numbers remain stable, 446,293 persons have taken at least one dose of the vaccine, which is a relatively high number.

“You have a combination of people who have received vaccines. There might have been a lot of people who got infected as well so they have some immunity because of their past infections and perhaps when you combine that in the population, you would have a substantial number of persons who would have some level of immunity against Covid,” Dr Anthony said.

However, if a person was previously infected with a variant other than Omicron, they could still be reinfected with Omicron.

In Guyana, persons are getting a milder form of the disease which resembles the flu, with symptoms like runny nose, fever and muscle aches.

Most of those infected do not require hospitalisation, and those that do, are mostly senior citizens or persons with underlying conditions.

“To be on the safe side, because we don’t know who would eventually present with symptoms that require hospitalisation, the safest thing to do is to make sure that your vaccinations are up to date, so I wouldn’t say that the virus is weaker, I would just say that perhaps with all the interventions that we would have made that in the population now, we have a little bit more protection than we previously had,” the health minister said.

Currently, and for the past few days, no one has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), with only three persons at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, and a country-wide hospitalisation total of seven persons.

In terms of vaccination, booster shots have increased slightly with more than 73, 000 persons taking the vaccines.

Vaccines are currently available for persons five years and above.