Goods coming from Brazil to Lethem to be sanitised

−As efforts continue in Region 9 to prevent imported COVID-19 cases from Brazil

DPI, Guyana, Monday, May 25, 2020

The Regional COVID-19 Task Force of the Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo, Region Nine is exploring every option to safeguard the health and wellness of its residents. This was disclosed by the Regional Health Officer, Dr. Naail Uthman.

The region has thus far recorded one case of the novel coronavirus which was imported from Brazil.

Dr. Uthman said this is more reason why “all hands are on deck to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in the region.” He said among the many measures being implemented is sanitisation.

He specifically pointed out that, “every Thursday we would sanitise goods and services coming from Brazil to Lethem to ensure that whatever is on this side of the border is safe for residents to utilise.”

It was explained that on Thursdays only there is a controlled entry of goods from Brazil and the Health team supported by the Agriculture department sanitise all items which can range from food to construction supplies.

Brazil has been recognised as the epicentre for coronavirus transmission in South America. This country shares more than 1000 miles of border with Guyana which means stringent monitoring is needed to prevent any imported case of COVID-19.

While efforts are being executed by the task force to ensure this remains in place, communities have been doing their part.

Dr. Uthman added, “Border patrols are of importance to us. Our police and Defence Force have been collaborating in monitoring some of these borders ensuring that persons do not cross either side illegally. Toshaos and other village leaders are also assisting in the whole coronavirus fight as they have been able thus far to set up checkpoints in their villages, disseminate information and assist us in monitoring the borders.”

Region Nine began preparation for COVID-19 with a training session and to date, seven such sessions have been conducted in all five sub-districts. Added to this, five screening sites namely at the Lethem Hospital, Aishalton Hospital, Sand Creek Health Centre, Karasabai health centre and Annai health centre have been established.

A quarantine facility and an isolation room have been set up in Lethem.

Dissemination of information and sensitisation are ongoing via social media, flyers, and radio. The residents in this region are being asked to adhere to health advisories as it will help in protecting themselves and loved ones from contracting the coronavirus disease.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.