Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony says that the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) will be conducting an indepth analysis to ascertain if COVID-19 should still be considered a pandemic.
A pandemic is defined as an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region, multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of individuals.
“The committee will have a report on the global epidemiological status of COVID-19. Over the last couple of weeks, they have noticed a downward trend in infections and hospitalisations and deaths. However, while that is happening, there are also newer variants emerging,” the minister stated during Thursday’s COVID-19 update.
The minister said research shows that persons who have been infected with COVID-19 will not be immune to the newer strains of the virus.
“Scientists don’t really know how widespread and pervasive this is, so they have to do more research on that issue,” he explained.
The minister also explained that despite the widespread vaccination campaigns and the fact that a large number of persons have been exposed to the virus, herd immunity is a difficult feat for Guyana.
“With newer variants, you get re-infected. The mere fact that people are getting re-infected shows that it’s going to be tough to arrive at herd immunity. We will have to learn to live with the virus, and get boosted at regular intervals with the boosters that are becoming available,” the minister noted.
Moreover, he expressed, “there are a lot of things the committee would have to take into consideration. The epidemiological situation and these new trends that are emerging with COVID. And based on these analyses, if they believe that there is a time to bring an end to the pandemic, they would most likely declare that.”