Although recorded COVID-19 infections have significantly reduced with fewer cases being detected daily, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony warns that the BA5 variant is still a threat.
During the daily COVID-19 update, Dr. Anthony reminded persons that vaccination against the virus significantly lowers the chances of severe illness and possible death.
Importantly, the minister noted that unvaccinated persons are more susceptible to the many COVID-19 variants that are emerging.
“We have regions in our country where vaccination rates are low. Those populations remain vulnerable to COVID-19 and with the mutations that are occurring they would certainly be more vulnerable than the persons who are vaccinated,” Dr Anthony warned.
Further, he noted that the BA5 variant is still a major threat as it is a variant from the omicron mutation. Other variants that circulating are the BK1 and BK1.1 variants.
“The more prevalent variant that is circulating is a variant of omicron and that’s the BA5,” the Health Minister said.
He noted that the United States of America (USA) has conducted tests and found that the BA5 variant is in 68 per cent of the emerging variants.
Therefore, although the number of BA5 infections has reduced, the variant continues to spread causing many more infections.
The minister said the daily uptake of COVID-19 vaccines is just about 200 persons of all ages. He added that while there are 25 persons in home isolation, there is one person receiving treatment at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Lilienaal, Greater Georgetown.
“These vaccines as we know have saved a lot of people’s lives, especially during the delta wave when we saw people got fairly ill and a lot of them ended up in the hospital.”
“If you are vaccinated your chances of getting ill are severely lower and therefore these vaccines have prevented a lot of deaths,” the minister said.
He noted that misinformation continues to spread about the disease and the vaccines, especially in certain parts of Guyana. The hinterland regions have been a less responsive area for the COVID vaccination uptake but the Health Ministry has embarked on several campaigns to get persons to become informed and more welcoming to the lifesaving vaccines.
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