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Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony has instructed that the testing of temperature at the Berbice River Bridge, East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) be discontinued as it is ineffective.
Temperature check points were established at different locations across the country after Guyana recorded its first Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) case in March by the APNU+AFC administration. This was part of a menu of measures implemented by the former Government to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
In Regions Five (Mahaica-Berbice) and Six, medical professionals were stationed at specific check points and were required to test the temperature of all persons entering the Regions from Georgetown.
However, Dr. Anthony during a visit to Region Six earlier this month said he observed the procedure and has deemed it ineffective as thousands of persons crossed the Berbice Bridge over the last few months but none were flagged as potential COVID-19 patients. The Minister said that several of those persons who passed the checkpoints were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Regional Chairman David Armogan disclosed that Region Six has embarked on a rigid COVID-19 sensitisation exercise and has been also distributed masks to residents and encouraged them to wash their hands regularly and maintain social distancing.
“We are doing it at the regional level where various teams are being sent to different areas and target majority of the hotspot areas from where we had cases before and we will be doing work to make sure that people are sensitized as to how to deal with this COVID situation,” Armogan told Village Voice Guyana.
The Regional Chairman disclosed that those persons who were stationed at the checkpoints will be stationed at healthcare facilities in the Region.
“Nothing ever came out of that exercise and to our knowing no one was pulled in and many persons passed there. But for those workers, we will be reintegrating them back into the primary health care system”, Armogan said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health on October 13 handed over two ventilators, an oxygen concentrator and two trolleys to the New Amsterdam hospital to boost healthcare service there. “We want to ensure our ICUs are better equipped, and ventilators in an ICU are essential equipment,” Minister Anthony said noting that patients would be in need of respiratory support.
The equipment was donated to the Ministry of Health by the Indian Government and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). It is part of a larger donation of 26 ventilators and 24 Oxygen Concentrators valued $122 million.