Lone health worker in Reg. 9 community tests positive for COVID-19
The Wapichan village of Potarinau has become the COVID-19 hotspot in Region Nine with ten positive cases while its satellite villages of Katuur and Baitoon each has two cases.
Potarinau –established over 70 years ago- has approximately 663 residents.
Additionally, the health worker at Shulinab in Region Nine was also tested positive for COVID-19. She is the lone health worker attached to the Shulinab health centre and was treating positive patients.
Immaculata Casimero, a member of the South Rupununi District Council told the News Room that the cases in the communities of Potarinau, Katuur and Baitoon were transmitted from one resident who entered the region illegally from Pium in Brazil.
Brazil has recorded over two million cases and 88,000 deaths.
Residents from Potarinau, Katuur and Baitoon are mainly engaged in farming of cassava, peanuts, bananas and corn.
Casimero explained that the residents all use the same farmlands making it easier for the disease to spread.
“He came from Brazil, the closest village to the border is Katuur village –about 15 to 20 miles from the border –then he came to Quiko and that’s where the spreading began,” she said.
Quiko has also recorded two COVID-19 cases.
“There are different villages but they share the same boundaries, they share the same resources and farming grounds and so, so that’s how it spread from there.”
Persons from Quiko and other villages travel to Shulinab to access health care.
Health officials began taking samples for testing when two elderly men died after coming in contact with a positive patient in Potarinau.
The South Rupununi District Council had previously raised concerns about the lack of health facilities and other resources to combat the spread of the virus.
Twenty-one villages which falls under the council’s mandate are on lockdown to stop the spread of the disease but with community transmission, there is little that can be done.
On Monday 19 COVID cases were recorded in Region Nine on Monday bringing the total number of cases in that Region to 41 of which 35 are active.
Other villages affected include Wowetta, Annai and Aranaputa where persons also travelled from Brazil but they travelled through the legal channels provided and were tested.
The Rupununi District Council has now embarked on a drive to get supplies to households which have been placed in quarantine.