Over 100 samples taken for COVID-19 test in Aranka, Reg. 7

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By Bibi Khatoon

Health officials have taken samples for COVID-19 testing from approximately 100 persons in Aranka, Cuyuni, Region Seven.

The testing is being done at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory in Georgetown and according to Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford, the results are expected by Tuesday.

During an interview with the News Room Monday, the Regional Chairman said a team from the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) comprising of soldiers, public health officials and persons from the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) cordoned off the mining area following increasing cases in the region.

The team was dispatched to Aranka and its environs on July 5 and Bradford said they will be spending a month at the location.

Region Seven Chairman Gordon Bradford

“They are monitoring persons going in and out, they’re doing testing and I know they have completed about 100 [samples] and those test kits have gone to Georgetown. We haven’t gotten those results as yet,” Bradford said.

“…those tests, we hope that it doesn’t bring back a result that is [positive] and result in an enormous spike in cases,” he added.

Forty persons have so far tested positive for COVID-19 in the Region and the Ministry of Public Health has issued several warnings for persons to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and families.

Of the 40 cases, only seven were found in Bartica including one death; 32 cases were confirmed between Aranka and Oku – anther mining community.

The Regional Chairman told the News Room that temporary shelters were erected in Aranka to isolate positive patients.

The News Room understands that the 34-year-old Bartician who was recorded as Guyana’s 14th COVID-19 death and also travelled to Oku shortly before he was tested.

The NCTF on July 3 placed additional restrictions on travel and mining in Regions One and Seven. The updated COVID-19 guidelines stated that no persons shall travel to or from Aranka/Arangoy Landing in Region Seven without the authorisation of the Minister of Public Health.

Additionally, all mining was suspended in the area.

Bradford said similar initiatives will be taken in Eteringbang, Harrau and in Kaikan.

“They will be setting up similar facilities like the one they set up in Aranka and they are going in there to do sensitization, monitoring and if needs be, do some testing also,” he disclosed.

As of July 13, Guyana confirmed 300 COVID-19 cases.

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