The Ministry of Health has sent several samples taken from Guyanese to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing for the new Coronavirus variants.
Guyana has not recorded any case of any of the new variants, but Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and neighbouring Brazil have all reported the presence of the faster spreading variant in their country.
Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony today said additional samples will also be sent for testing.
“CARPHA has been doing some amount of genetic sequencing and that would tell you whether or not its one variant or the other. Yesterday, the Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago reported that they have identified the B117 variant in Trinidad. They have reported that and so we are now alerted. This probably is the 2nd case that we have had in the Caribbean with the first being in Jamaica and now we have one in Trinidad and I suspect once we start doing the genetic sequencing, we will find similar cases in other countries”, Minister Anthony said.
Because the new variants of COVID-19 are fast-spreading, Health officials continue to encourage citizens to take the necessary precautions to fight the virus. Those precautions include physical distancing and the washing of hands.
The results from the samples submitted by Guyana could take more than a week.
Since Brazil reported cases of the new variants, the Guyana government has stepped up monitoring at the Guyana/Brazil border.
The coronavirus cases in Guyana continue to climb with more than 600 new cases since the start of this month.