16 foreigners placed at COVID-19 hospital after entering Guyana illegally

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Some 16 foreign nationals including Cubans and an Irish who entered Guyana illegally within the last few days have been quarantined at the COVID-19 Hospital at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

One of the Cuban nationals tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving and was placed into isolation, Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Health, Terrence Esseboom told the News Room.

However, Mr Esseboom could not say when the nationals arrived or how they managed to get pass security at the borders that have been closed since mid-March to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The News Room was reliably informed that 10 Cubans and One Irish national entered the country illegally via the backtrack in the Corentyne-Berbice region from Suriname.

Regional Commander, Senior Superintendent Calvin Brutus, further told the News Room that once the nationals are out of quarantine they will be faced with immigration charges.

Illegal ports of entry from Suriname have been identified at No. 73, 52 and 74 Villages and in Port Mourant and Albion.

Chief Immigration Officer Superintendent Ewart Wray when contacted by the News Room said he had no idea that foreign nationals had entered the country illegally.

Residents in Region Six have been calling for more stringent security at these ports as they are fearful of an outbreak of COVID-19 with the illegal border crossing.

New Amsterdam, Region Six recorded its first COVID-19 case and the country’s 3rd COVID-19 related death on April 1, 2020. Osa Collins, a 78-year-old resident of New Amsterdam died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. Ms Collins had recently travelled from the United States and was considered an imported COVID-19 case.

The authorities in Region Nine are also faced with illegal border crossing from neighbouring Brazil. Brazil is among the top countries with the most cases and is the epicentre of the outbreak in Latin America.

Guyana on July 22, 2020 recorded 350 COVID-19 cases.

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