Confirmed cases

Guyana: concern over COVID-19 death rate

Stabroek News: Guyana’s COVID-19 death toll percentage of 10.4 is far beyond the World Health Organization’s estimated 3 – 4 % mortality rate and this is of great concern to the Public Health Ministry.

These figures were disclosed yesterday during a live COVID-19 update by de facto Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence, when she informed that as of yesterday, the number of positive confirmed cases of the virus did not move from 67 even as the number of persons tested for the virus did not change and stands at 348.

The number of persons who have recovered from the virus has increased by 1 taking that total up to 10. With that, the number of persons in institutional isolation went down to 50, with 17 still in institutional quarantine and 3 persons remain in the COVID-19 Intensive care unit.

Confirmed cases recorded are from Regions One, Three, Four, Six and Ten. However, Region Four accounts for over 80% of the cases recorded so far.

Lawrence noted that while Guyana’s deaths remain at 7, the mortality percentage stands at 10.4%, which she admitted was higher than the WHO’s estimated mortality rate. According to the WHO’s COVID-19 situation report dated March 6th, the true mortality rate for the disease will take some time to fully understand but the data gathered so far indicates that the mortality rate stands at about 3 – 4%. Observers have contended that since Guyana is not testing enough to find positive cases its death rate could be considered to be artificially high.

Stabroek News has sought to ascertain how deaths in Guyana are being recorded, that is, if only those persons who were in hospital facilities and have tested positive for the virus are being recorded or if persons who were not tested or hospitalised and died outside of the hospitals and were suspected of having COVID, would be tested. It has been noted that some countries count only hospital deaths, while others include deaths in homes. Attempts to contact health officials for clarification proved futile.


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