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The Region Seven COVID-19 Rapid Response Team (RRT) would soon be intensifying its sensitisation, testing and screening efforts in the Lower Mazaruni communities through a medical outreach planned for next week.
Head of the RRT, Dr. Terrence George told DPI the aim is to determine the incidence of the disease in riverine communities by increasing testing there. The team participated in a COVID-19 related training programme this week to ensure it is adequately prepared for the exercise.
Residents in Riverview, Karrau Creek, Batavia, Kartabu, Itaballi Landing, Four Miles, Seventy-four Miles, Wineperu and Kaburi and other villages are expected to benefit from this initiative.
“Last year, these riverine communities especially Batavia and Riverview were what we considered to be Covid hotspot areas since they had a lot of cases so this exercise is more us going back to the areas to conduct testing. We are not going to be testing the same individuals, but we will conduct random testing,” Dr. George said.
He said the Region is currently facing some difficulties establishing an isolation facility within the riverine communities, in keeping with the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 measures.
However, facilities have been established at Kamarang and Waramadong, which house about three to 20, and five to 10 persons respectively. The Region is looking to establish similar facilities in other locations soon.
Additionally, a medical outreach is scheduled to start at Waramadong and Kamarang mainly, in a fortnight.
“We have a team stationed there, (Waramadong) about two doctors, and we will start testing at Paruima since we received complaints that persons are having some respiratory problems. The last time my team visited this area, they refused strongly …to be tested but now with their current situation, this decision was reconsidered and will begin as soon as possible,” Dr. George said.
The team had encountered similar resistance at Phillipai. Dr. George said the group was only able to inform residents about the disease and measures outlined by the Health Ministry.
The team had also visited Waramadong, Kamarang, Chinowieng, Jawalla, Imbaimadai and other areas. “At the beginning of this month, we start getting complaints from persons about respiratory system problems so they were tested and we got four positives in Kamarang and so on. Now, we are doing a comprehensive contact tracing in those areas to try to stop the spread of Covid,” he added. To date, the Region has recorded a total of 783 positive COVID-19 cases. (DPI)