Regions 1, 7 reporting increased COVID-19 transmission

−Younger population mostly infected

DPI, Guyana, Friday, May 29, 2020

With the total number of confirmed cases in Guyana standing at 150, the Ministry of Public Health has reported that recent tests have shown that there is an increase in transmission of COVID-19 in the Barima-Waini and Cuyuni-Mazaruni districts (Regions 1 and 7).

Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud on Friday disclosed that Region One is has recorded 11 positive COVID cases this is inclusive of one death, on recovery and 9 active cases.

Chart shows the breakdown of the distribution of positive cases in Guyana by Administrative Regions.

COVID-19 Positive Cases by Age Group and Sex in Region 1

COVID-19 Positive Cases by Age Group and Sex in Region 7

“On May 21, Moruca (Region One) had its first case, two days later, it had its second case; today the 29th, eight days after, Moruca now has nine cases, with one death. On May 10, the Cuyuni-Mazaruni region recorded its first case; six more were recorded on May 16, six days after 3 more positives and now 12 days after 5 more cases,” he stated.

A total of 15 actives cases have been registered in Region Seven.

The Public Health Ministry says data analysis shows that younger males within the 25-29 age group are predominantly affected in Region One while in Region Seven, it is the 30-39 age group is most affected.

“We can see from the statistics, our men continue to be the ones mostly affected by  COVID-19 and contrary to popular Guyanese belief, that COVID-19 is a virus that mainly affects the elderly, our statistics continue to show us that the young now constitute the most vulnerable,” Dr. Persaud explained.

It was noted that particularly in Region Seven men work in mining areas as it is their only means providing for their families.

Cognisant of how important this is, the Ministry advises that these persons practice social distancing, wear a mask and frequently sanitize and wash their hands. This is to guarantee that the transmission rate will drop significantly.

Meanwhile, the CMO emphasised that a large percentage of the people testing positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic.

“When we speak of the asymptomatic person we are referring to a healthy carrier that is actively spreading the disease without showing any signs or symptoms; this is the reason why we are asking to treat everyone as a carrier and ensure that you follow the guidelines of physical distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask.”

While Regions One and Seven have seen an increase in positive cases, Region Eight, Potaro-Siparuni remains free of COVID-19 while Region Nine, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo has recorded only one positive case.

These two regions bordering Brazil have been actively implementing measures to protect its residents and avoid imported cases from the neighbouring country which has reported more than 411,000 positive cases to date.