Region Eight tightens COVID-19 screening, sensitisation efforts

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Since the emergence of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Guyana, it has quickly moved through seven of the country’s ten regions.

Potaro-Siparuni, Region Eight, is one of the three remain districts that are free of any COVID-19 cases.

This region is divided into two sub-districts, Mahdia and North Pakaraimas. The North Pakaraimas also called Sub-district One shares borders with Brazil.

Since Brazil has been deemed the epicentre for transmission of the virus in South America, Region Eight officials including the health department have been actively stepping up efforts to protect residents in the region.

Regional Health Officer, Dr. Chrissundra Abdool, on Wednesday, shared what has been done thus far in the region with regards to keeping it COVID-19 free.

“We have also conducted risk assessments especially in the North Pakaraimas, engaging not only health workers but toshaos and other members of the community so that they can better understand the importance of their role in helping us fight against COVID-19,” the RHO stated.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the region, checkpoints for screening have been established set up in various areas.

“There has been a checkpoint established at the Seeballi landing where commuters are screened just before crossing into Mahdia. There is also another screening area just as you enter the Mahdia district hospital and at our airline service providers at the Mahdia Airstrip,” Dr. Abdool explained.

To date, there have been four suspected cases, with seven tests conducted and all results returning negative. Another forty persons who have been in contact with the suspected cases have been quarantined but have since been cleared after completing the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Preparations to tackle the virus began in the region in February with the establishment of a Regional COVID-19 task force which meets every 72 hours.

This body is responsible for allocating resources for the COVID-19 fight, determining measures for strengthening border protection and making adjustments to the action plan currently being used to suit the current situation.

Additionally, they are “supported by the Madhia Mayor and Town Council, the police and the militia and even some business owners who all aid in the dissemination of information to the communities, sanitization, donation of resources among other contributions,” Dr Abdool said.

The region has been ensuring that information regarding COVID-19 is being efficiently disseminated through posters, flyers, social media and radio Mahdia.

A regional hotline has also been set up so that persons can call for more information and have questions answered. That number is 608-7517.

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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.