>>>Encouraging Events, Disturbing Developments<<<
By GHK Lall
Kaieteur News – Today I speak of positives only, amidst a world of worry and unending negatives. I am looking for some way to lift myself up and others, too.
The first encouraging news came from Dr. Mahendra Carpen, Head of Medical Services at the GPHC, with a report that at least 50 persons have benefitted from the COVID-19 convalescent plasma treatment administered at the hospital. This is extremely encouraging because the plasma treatment is only given to patients that are extremely critical. My thinking is that, given their condition, this plasma treatment is definitely a lifesaver for quite a few of them. I think that in the absence of this plasma treatment, and considering the patients “extremely critical” condition, it is highly likely that some of them could have been gone. To Drs. Carpen and Pedro Lewis (Head of the NBTS), our appreciation for working together to engage in this process of prepping the blood of once infected pandemic patients and working diligently through the sensitive compatibility issues to find the right matches. I should mention that the prestigious Mayo Clinic has indicated that “Antibody-rich plasma treatment reduced deaths for COVID-19 patients: Mayo Clinic study” (New York Post, January 14). The Mayo Clinic researchers elaborated: “Early administration of high-titer convalescent plasma against SARS-CoV-2…reduced the progression of COVID-19.” And also those patients who were given antibody-rich plasma in the first three days of treatment saw better outcomes. It is most encouraging that, as this monumental struggle continues, we here in Guyana are constantly searching for ways to leverage our limited resources and are working with what we have to provide relief in this medical crisis.
It encourages that there is a breakthrough in the gruesome Cotton Tree murders that triggered so much ugliness in that part of the country, and farther afield, when all is reviewed. Though I am always hesitant and careful with confessions, especially from a hardened criminal such as the one I take to be the lead perpetrator, this long-awaited development has to resonate in that community and across this society. A drug situation that took a terrible turn was one of the more substantial speculations floating around, and now there is seeming confirmation that such was the case. I would be even more encouraged if this holds up, and does not prove to be a false alarm that leads to a dead end.
Then, there was that picture and encouraging news item of two members of the Guyana Police Force stepping into the water, at some danger to themselves, to rescue a citizen, who most probably would have drowned were it not for their thoughtful and daring intervention. The GPF has been the object of a barrage of criticism from most corners, so this rescue development is something that should help to boost the image of the force. More quality work from members of the GPF in the many areas of its vast responsibilities would go a long way in putting the institution at a better place in the minds of hearts of watching citizens.
Next, I read that the Board of Directors of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation recommended that action be taken against those culpable in the Asphalt Plant racket. We have to start somewhere, through sending hard messages that where corruption is involved, it will not be tolerated. This is regardless of who is in the middle, be it the previous government’s people, or those associated with the current one. This is the only way that taxpayers will get some value for their money, and that effective deterrents will be in place to make potential workplace scoundrels think twice of taking a chance and helping themselves. As Guyanese know, there is a lot of public service skullduggery that plagues this country. Some effort must be made to put the brakes on these runaway practices in government after government. Take action and punish the culpable. I am all for that, and the harsher the better.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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