Guyana today January 5, 2022, recorded 788 positive Covid-19 cases and two deaths, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony confirmed during his daily Covid-19.

“Over the last 24 hours we were able to detect 788 new cases and this came from 1,878 tests so the positivity rate has gone up so it’s about 41.95 per cent, and that shows that we have a lot of people getting positive very quickly,” Dr Anthony said.

“We have anticipated that these numbers are going to double and we are seeing that happening right now,” he said.

The total positive cases now stand at 2554, with Region Four having 1648, Region Six, 338, Region Three, 206, Region Nine, 115 and Region 10 with 82 active cases.

Fifty-nine persons are hospitalised with 36 in the Ocean View hospital, five of whom are in the ICU.

Despite the rise in cases, the health minister is assuring citizens that there is adequate testing capacity at the National Public Health Reference laboratory.

“I think we have the capability of doing at least 2000 PCRs over a 24-hour period, that’s fairly large. We also have GeneXpert machines that we have placed at the various regional hospitals so they can do some amount of testing there and with antigen testing it does not require much of an infrastructure, just the test kits. We have adequate test kits across the public health system and they are being used,” Dr. Anthony said.

In addition, more than 12 private health facilities have been certified to do testing.

The minister noted that with the increase in cases, persons may panic and want to get tested, however getting tested too soon after exposure might not get an accurate result.

“Don’t go and swamp the testing sites. We have seen a lot of people showing up at testing sites and demanding to be tested, but if you go too early you are not going to know what’s your true status,” he said.

“You will have to be quarantined first of all and wait at least five days before you go and get tested. If you go right away and get tested it’s going to show negative. If you go the next day and get tested it’s going to show negative, so you have to wait that window period out before you get tested. For these tests to work, a person would have to be infected, they would have to get an adequate amount of virus in their system before the test can detect it,” Dr. Anthony added.

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