Three years later: Guyana has managed to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Country has capacity at central, regional level

Guyana recorded its first COVID-19 case in March 2020 – three years ago, in a period also marred by electoral discrepancies. During this phase, there was a nationwide lockdown and a curfew instituted.

The fight against the deadly disease heightened when the PPP/C Government assumed office on August 2, 2020.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony

Government immediately made several interventions to mitigate its spread. These included the operationalisation of the Infectious Disease Hospital at Liliendaal, procurement of needed Personal Protective Equipment for medical workers, improvement of diagnostics and the most effective – procurement of vaccines for the population.  

“At this point, I think we’re in a very good place. We have seen a reduction in cases; we have seen less hospitalisation and we’re not seeing people with very severe COVID. Now, those [patients] that do come in, we want to make sure that whatever treatment they need, that they can get and that is something that we’ve been doing,” Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony expressedas he reflected on how far Guyana has come.

The country now has the capacity to manage cases not only centrally, but in all the other regions. Currently, Guyana has 13 active cases and only three new cases were discovered in the last 24 hours.

Minister Anthony also attributed the country’s success to partnerships with UNICEF, PAHO/WHO, India, the United States of America and other countries.

He said the government is now focusing on ensuring the citizens have access to booster doses, while also procuring medication to treat patients.  Only today, the Ministry of Health received 5,040 Paxlovid pills from UNICEF, which will be used to treat patients who have been infected with the disease.

Minister Anthony pointed out that, “The meds that we have before us would certainly add a dimension to our treatment. This was something that we did not have before and therefore we would be able to treat patients.”

The medication will not only be used to treat patients but also prevent a person from being diagnosed with long Covid.