Three persons died over the past five days. Their deaths are believed to have resulted from complications of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
At least two of those who died have left young children. A 34 year old victim from Bartica has a three- year-old daughter. The 25-year-old school teacher from Region Nine who died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation has left behind a seven-year-old child.
The other victim was from Albouystown. It is not certain whether the other victim, in his early 40s, had any children but at least two of these deaths have resulted in children being left without one of their parents.
When the COVID-19 statistics are examined, the numbers of those affected by the deaths are not mentioned. We learn about the number of deaths, new cases and total cases but never much about the children who are left behind without their parents.
In May, three persons were orphaned in Detroit after losing both of their parents, within weeks, to coronavirus complications. And who can forget the sight of six children left without their single-parent mom who died from coronavirus. They watched from behind a glass screen as their mother succumbed to the disease.
In California, the parents of five succumbed to coronavirus complications, just days apart. They have left five orphaned children aged between 2-17 years old.
A Cleveland couple, both in their early 20s, contracted the coronavirus. The wife was pregnant at the time. She died not long after delivering a baby boy, never having had the chance to cradle her new-born son.
In Montreal, a father died, leaving a wife and five children behind. The mother was pregnant with the couple’s sixth child.
There are thousands of other similar cases. When therefore we read about a coronavirus death, it is necessary to think not just about the victims but those left behind, especially if those left behind are children.
The three recent cases in Guyana is a cause for greater concern. For one, the death toll has increased by 25% in less than one week, and this is after no deaths in close to one month.
The results of studies done have dismissed the suggestion that the virus is weakening. It has been found that, instead, the virus has mutated and has become more infectious – this means it will spread more easily and rapidly. Studies have also shown that the mutation has not affected the deadliness of the virus.
Many persons had falsely presumed that the worst was over. But it now seems as if it is now getting worse because of the failure to have regional strategies to combat the virus.
It was always ill-advised to have a centrally directed strategy to combat the local epidemic. As a consequence of this failure, the number of cases in Region One and Seven have spiked to dangerous levels and it will mean an almost total lockdown of these regions, in order to suppress the epidemic.
Other regions continue to register increased cases. Region 9 is now seeing an increase in cases. That Region borders Brazil – the country with the second highest number of deaths in the world.
The government has said it will begin increased testing in two of the affected Regions. Again this is a mistaken strategy.
It should increase testing in all Regions in which there are active cases. It is believed that as much as 40% of cases can be asymptomatic. And therefore it is only through extensive cases that these cases can be identified and the risk of transmission reduced.
The three persons who died over the past five days are in an age-group which is not considered high-risk. But it shows how the virus can affect anyone even though the majority of deaths tend to be the elderly and those with underlying conditions.
It is not certain whether any of those who died this past week had any underlying conditions. The search for answers to these questions must continue even though the authorities are tight-lipped about the specifics of cases.
The authorities are sticking to the position of upholding the confidentiality of the victims. But greater transparency will help the entire country since the public may be able to come forward with information which will help in contact-tracing.
It is time for a total rethink of the national COVID-19 strategy. Other Caribbean countries are now opening up.
Most have better records than Guyana. Barbados has 97 cases and 7 deaths. Trinidad and Tobago has 131 cases and 8 deaths. Jamaica is the only country which has more cases than Guyana. It has 728 cases but has 50% less deaths, only 10. Guyana’s coronavirus infections is second only to Jamaica.
Guyana is about to become the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Eastern Caribbean. St. Lucia, St Vincent and Grenada have each recorded less than 30 cases. Guyana’s poor management of the epidemic will only add to its pariah status.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
Aug 05, 2020From ‘Ghetto’ to Glory… By Sean Devers Caribbean Bantamweight Boxing Champion and 2021 Olympic hopeful 21-year-old Keevin Allicock grew up in the heart of the ‘Ghetto’ in Albouystown...
Aug 04, 2020
Aug 04, 2020
Aug 04, 2020
Aug 02, 2020
Aug 02, 2020
By Sir Ronald Sanders Amid the feverish work to cope with both the public health and economic effects of COVID-19 on their... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]