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– mining communities on the radar
JUST when Guyana thought it was “out of the woods” in the fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), things have taken a worrying turn with 12 cases being recorded within the past 24 hours.
Those cases were detected after health authorities tested 36 persons between Monday and Tuesday.
According to Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Shamdeo Persaud, some 1,995 persons have been tested so far, and the results of those tests have proven 1,822 persons negative and 171 positive.
Of the total number of persons tested positive, 99 have recovered, 12 have lost their lives, and 60 are still deemed active. According to Dr. Persaud, Region Two (Pomeroom-Supenaam) has recorded its first case of the disease since the virus first reared its ugly head her back in March.
“We now have eight out of ten Regions reporting COVID-19 cases,” the CMO said, noting that persons must continue to utilise the available mobile units, the COVID-19 hotline, and the COVID-19 facilities.
Health authorities here continue to work towards strengthening the healthcare system to respond to COVID-19 on a long-term basis. The potential and existing activities are part of a plan to have a comprehensive COVID-19 health network, whereby patients across the country’s 10 administrative regions will be able to access these services.
Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) is still the epicentre of the disease, and there are a number of communities outside of Georgetown which have recorded cases.
Among communities on the East Coast Demerara (ECD) where cases have been recorded are: Atlantic Gardens, Friendship, Golden Grove, Good Hope, Lusignan, Plaisance, and Strathspey, while among those on the East Bank Demerara (EBD) are: Diamond, Grove, Land of Canaan, Providence, and Timehri.
Health authorities are also placing emphasis on the four hinterland regions, especially now that three of them have recorded cases of COVID-19.
EPICENTRE OF THE AMERICAS
The need for surveillance in those regions is also important, because Guyana’s South American neighbour, Brazil, is now rated as the COVID-19 epicentre of the Americas.
“We continue to plead with the residents of Regions One, Six, Seven, Eight and Nine to remain on high alert, recognising that our neighbours, Brazil, Venezuela and Suriname, are reporting new cases,” said Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Boyle in a recent report.
“Residents of Region Seven, with the new cases in Venezuela, and the upsurge in your region, your vulnerability is increased. We are calling on the Toshaos and other authorities to ensure that residents do not cross borders, and that persons from those other countries are not entering your community. Community members must report any migrant entering your community, and anyone who has signs and symptoms and immediately bring this to the attention of the health authorities,” Dr. Boyle advised.
Dr. Persaud, in his report on Tuesday said the public health ministry will continue to monitor mining communities, and advise miners to follow the existing guidelines.
“Please remember that there is no cure, so the temptation to self-medicate if you have symptoms of COVID-19 is not recommended. We ask that you seek medical attention by contacting the nearest health facility so that they can bring services to you,” Dr. Persaud said, adding:
“The message is not only for the miners within the hinterland region, but for those who are at home on the coastland and have plans of returning. Please remember that you cannot provide for your family if you are sick.”
As is evident, COVID-19 remains a serious issue, not just here in Guyana, but globally as well; and, according to global statistics, there are 7.8 million cases of COVID-19, with over 431,000 deaths. And, with no approved treatment or cure, there is no assurance that persons will survive after contracting the disease. In the absence of approved medications, governments and authorities across the world have employed a number of preventive measures to contain the spread of the disease.