Reg. 5 focused on COVID-19 containment after recording first case

— multi-stakeholder approach laid out

— Rapid Emergency Response Team and hotlines established

In light of Region Five recording its first novel coronavirus (COVID-19) case in recent days, the Regional COVID-19 task force met, on Wednesday, to craft measures to prevent the further spread of the disease in the Mahaica-Berbice area.

Present at the meeting were representatives from the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), Region Five’s Department of Health, the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA), and the Region Five Chambers of Commerce.

According to the Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr. Desmond Nicholson, the region has been working to contain the spread and prevent further transmission and COVID-19 related deaths, since recording the first case.

“We have identified patient-zero, a female, 66 years of age, who has been moved into isolation. We began contact-tracing, and we began to locate those persons who were in immediate contact with the person. They have also been placed in quarantine,” Dr. Nicholson disclosed.

Under the leadership of the new Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Nigel Dharamlall, the RHO said the region has also established a Rapid Emergency Response Team comprised of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. 

A special hotline has also been established, and persons can make contact on telephone numbers: 624-2000 or 624-9000.

Deputy Regional Commander, Superintendent Yonette Stephens relayed that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) has enforced strict protocols in the region. 

Sanitisation stations have since been installed at several locations including police stations. Persons are required to wear face masks and practise good hand hygiene by washing hands before interacting with officers. Similarly, police officers are mandated to wear face masks and adhere to the necessary protocols in the public domain and line of duty.

Superintendent Stephens also explained that information-sharing has been ongoing with relevant stakeholders such as owners of supermarkets, shops etc., as well as, civilians to ensure they are aware of the COVID-19 guidelines.

General Manager of GuySuCo’s Blairmont Estate in Region Five, Hutton Griffith, said the company commenced their COVID-19 measures as early as March, and have been improving since.

So far, over 18,000 face masks and a number of other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been issued to workers. Hand washing stations have been established, to cater for office and factory workers working on a rotation system.

Staff at the Blairmont Estate have also undergone 31 training sessions to improve their capacity to deal with the pandemic. Additionally, GuySuCo has been ensuring staff are continually transported to and from work.

Region Five also currently has COVID-19 checkpoints at entry points of the region. Temperature tests are done on all individuals upon entry, and sanitisation stations have been set up in public spaces.

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COVID-19 Alert!

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.