Lethem records first COVID-19 case
Lethem, Region Nine, has recorded its first case of COVID-19. The patient is a male from St. Ignatius, Region Nine and is currently in isolation at the Lethem Regional Hospital.
Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence confirmed Monday that the patient was tested positive and is among five new cases in the country.
“Today, among the five new cases, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, known as Region #9 is reporting its first case,” Lawrence said.
Regional Executive Officer (REO) Carl Parker told the News Room that samples of the patient were sent to Georgetown on Sunday to be tested.
“…apparently this person was being treated for malaria over in Bonfim, Brazil but after they got worse they decide to check at the Lethem Hospital and after observing the patient we decided to take him into isolation immediately because he was exhibiting some of the symptoms of COVID-19,” Mr Parker said.
He explained that the patient more than likely left Guyana and entered Brazil illegally.
All borders in Guyana have been closed since April 3 and will remain closed until June 3 as part of measures implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Added to this a number of businesses are also closed and with Brazil operating almost as per normal, persons have been illegally entering the neighboring country seeking employment. A few of them have been caught, but the issues remain a challenge for the authorities in the Region.
“We are hard pressed to monitor the border because of the size.
“It is something that we cannot just stop like that, there are too many crossing and the load of economic benefits is greater than the need to stay safe,” Mr Parker stated.
He explained that a number of these persons have dual citizenship and as such receive pensions and other benefits from the Brazilian government.