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Health Minister says COVID restrictions could return

- Depending on the impact the new wave of the virus has on Guyana.

Director of the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) Carissa Etienne has urged countries in the Americas to remain vigilant as cases of COVID 19 surge in other parts of the Region.

In Guyana and some of the neighbouring Caribbean countries, Omicron is becoming the predominant variant with Omicron BA.2 already detected in 8.7% of sequences. This is according to a report from PAHO.

During Wednesday’s COVID 19 update, Health Minister Dr Frank posited that his Ministry will closely monitor this wave.

When asked about whether the country will have to reinforce the previous Covid 19 restrictions, the subject Minister said that decision depends on the impact the wave may or may not have on Guyana.

“If there is a new wave and if the cases are a lot, if we are seeing severity where a lot of people are going to be hospitalised and people are dying from the disease then obviously we will have to take the necessary measures. If however, it is one that is quite mild then perhaps we wouldn’t be as rigid.”

In March some of the COVID restrictions were lifted for locals including mandatory mask-wearing and proof of vaccination to enter public buildings.

The Health Minister also issued a call for persons to get their primary doses of a COVID 19 vaccine and even more so their booster shots as he explained that they become more immune to the virus this way.

Particularly, he stressed the need for parents to have their children between the ages of 12 and 17 vaccinated as he highlighted that vaccination within this category has been relatively low.

Only 47.2% of persons within this age range have received their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

Booster for children 12-17

As it relates to the administration of the booster shot for adolescents, the Health Minister noted that there needs to be an uptake in the primary doses before this can be decided upon.

“We want to focus on getting more of the age group between 12-17 immunised with the primary dose and then we will take about maybe a booster shot.”

The Ministries of Health and Education began the vaccination of children within this age group last year to facilitate the full reopening of schools.


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