Hinterland regions need to do more COVID-19 testing – Min. Anthony

Since Guyana has recorded more “community transmission” of the deadly Coronavirus, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, MP, says hinterland regions need to start conducting more COVID-19 testing in order to track the infection.

The Minister said the low number of positive cases in some regions are due to limited testing and as such it is difficult to have an accurate report on the situation in those regions. 

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

“In every region we have a number of cases but that varies because some regions are not testing, as much as they should. So, for example, In Region One, Region Six, Region Five, Region Seven, Region Eight, Region Nine and 10, they can do much more testing but they’re not testing as much and therefore, we might see that the numbers in those regions are artificially low. So, it’s an underestimate of what is currently happening in those regions,” Dr. Anthony said.

He made this statement during Monday’s COVID-19 briefing at the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, in terms of regional breakdown, Minister Anthony said the current hotspots in Region One are Port Kaituma with 21 positive cases and Mabaruma with 12 cases. He noted that Region Two recorded 18 cases in Charity and 15 cases in Onderneeming. The minister said these regions are not doing enough testing.

“In Region Three, we have seen a rapid increase in cases over the last week and now we have 65 cases in Tuschen, we have 45 cases in Parfaite Harmonie, we have 36 cases in Pouderoyen, Santa mission we have 35 cases and CI we have 33 cases.”

The Minister said there has also been a rise in positive cases in Region Four, especially on the East Bank Demerara.

“In Region Four on the East Bank, at Diamond there’s 110 cases, at Grove there’s 91 cases, in Eccles we have 55 cases, Soesdyke 41, Timehri 39, Herstelling 38. There are other places on the East Bank where we have cases.”

The Minister added that other hotspots in Region Four are on the East Coast Demerara. Mon Repos reported the most with 45 cases. Other hotspots are Haslington, Better Hope, Enterprise, Lusignan, Paradise, Good Hope, Plaisance, Enmore, Non Pariel and Annandale.

“In Georgetown again, every ward of the town we have cases, the ones that stand out would be Kitty at 84, Sophia with 75 cases, South Ruimveldt with 48 cases, Lodge with 43 cases, Campbellville 41, West Ruimveldt 41, Cummings Lodge 39 and again there can be more testing that can be done in these areas,” he said.

Region Five hotspot is Onverwagt, which recorded 20 cases and New Amsterdam in Region Six with 20 cases. While in Region Seven, 94 cases were recorded in Bartica and 24 cases in Isseneru.

Meanwhile Tuschen in Region Eight recorded 38 cases and Region Nine with 19 positive cases in Aishalton. Region Ten has recorded 18 cases in Wismar, 17 in Amelia’s Ward and 14 in Mackenzie.

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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.