Most COVID-19 cases in Region Nine are from Brazil – REO

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The Takutu River Bridge linking Guyana and Brazil

With 36 active cases of the novel coronavirus in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Essequibo), health authorities have revealed that majority originated from neighbouring Brazil.

This is according to Regional Executive Officer Carl Parker, who expressed that the COVID-19 situation in the region has become a challenge.

There are currently 36 active cases. In one day alone, the region registered an alarming 19 positive cases.

“They are 23 new cases in the region, that in addition to the 18 we had before. Of those 18, four have recovered and one died, so that is 23 and 13 active cases that we now have.” Parker is quoted as saying by the Department of Public Information.

The REO asserted that no resident of Lethem has been diagnosed with COVID -19. He said cases are being imported from neighbouring Brazil.

“Persons are still coming across the border and when they reach the villages, residents are hiding them. So when the team shows up, they are told that there are no persons from the border. But now we know persons are coming from the border. Those cases did not come from Lethem, we have no reports of anyone in Lethem with COVID, everything is from across Brazil,” the REO explained.

Parker warned that this practice of harbouring migrants threatens local communities. “That is a dangerous situation,” he noted.

The REO has since raised the matter with the local toshaos.

“Despite all the pleading, begging and information out there, persons are still not adhering to the safety guidelines,” Parker lamented.

Two weeks ago, the South Rupununi District Council (SRDC), the representative body of the 21 indigenous communities of the South Rupununi, made a decision to lock down all South Rupununi communities.

The Council said the decision was taken to protect their communities from further spread of COVID-19, in light of test results confirming five positive cases in three of their villages.