Two years on: Guyana has come a long way since first Covid-19 case
Two years into the COVID-19 Pandemic, the number of active cases in Guyana has dropped to an all-time low. Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony said the country has seen tremendous progress since the pandemic started here.
Speaking during Friday’s COVID-19 Update, Minister Anthony said, “I think when you compare where we were two years ago, not knowing much about the disease, not having proper diagnostic tests to be able to test for the disease, not having treatment in place, not having beds for people who require treatment, it is a totally different scenario now where we have lots of capacity, we have a lot of people who have been trained and we have been working at this for the last two years and we have gained a lot of experience.”
The PPP/C Government has been utilising all available resources to manage the deadly disease, building the capacity of the local health sector.
“At no time was our system overwhelmed. With cases we always had enough beds to treat our patients, and if they needed ventilators, we had ventilators for these patients because we increased that capacity, quite significantly so that any patient that required a ventilator was able to access that ventilator,” Dr. Anthony said.
He noted however, that vaccination remains a challenge. While more than 64 percent of the adult population has had both doses of a vaccine, there are some regions that are lagging behind. He is urging persons to take their jabs so that the pandemic could end soon.
Meanwhile, as cases continue to decline, Dr. Anthony said focus will now be placed on post covid syndrome.
“As we look over the next couple of months there would be a lot of expertise that would be needed for post- covid syndrome so that’s something that we are monitoring and we are also working on the treatment for those as well,” he stated.
Minister Anthony explained that even if an individual gets a milder form of the disease that does not prevent them from getting post- covid syndrome which can affect any part of the body.
“They can have problems with the virus getting into the brain, it creates inflammation in the brain which results in things like brain fog confusion and a whole host of other problems, sleeping disorders and all kinds of things.”
Heart complications, renal and lung disease are also common effects of the Covid-19 infection.
“So, there are a whole host of problems that even after you get through the acute phase that this thing can be there for many months after, with vaccination, it makes a big difference,” Dr. Anthony said.
He explained that vaccinated people get a milder form of the disease and are less likely to develop post Covid syndrome or the lingering effects of acute infections from the disease.