Reg. 9 overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases; there is shortage of food, sanitising agents
By Isanella Patoir
The authorities in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) are grappling to deal with the alarming increase in positive COVID-19 cases which has stretched its resources thin.
Regional Chairman Bryan Allicock told the News Room during a telephone interview on Monday that there is a shortage of food and sanitising agents and most importantly limited health workers.
As such the Regional COVID-19 Emergency Committee is asking retired health workers to return to the job during this time.
“We are trying to re-engage those retired health personnel, we have 37 listed but we don’t know if all are going to come back,” the Regional Chairman said.
He explained that the retired workers will focus on the regular day to day medical assistance while those already on the job will focus solely on the COVID-19 situation.
“We are very very short on personnel.”
He said there is no money for the COVID-19 response team and health workers can only pray for patients to recover.
“It is not an easy situation we are in and the thing is the money is just not there,” the Regional Chairman said.
The region on August 02 recorded 38 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 89. There are 84 active cases in institutional isolation including babies.
The new cases were recorded in Wowetta, Aranaputa, Annai, Katuur, Baitoon, Potarinau, Rupertee, St Ignatius, Lethem and Quarrie Villages.
So far 314 tests were done in the region with 54 results still outstanding. The Region is also ramping up testing and contact tracing in an effort to contain the spread.
The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) will be setting up isolation tents in the Region.
The News Room understands that residents in the Region are hiding from health workers when they go to the communities to conduct testing. It was revealed that the residents are in fear that testing is politically motivated.
Additionally, the region is also battling the flu; a number of persons were tested negative for COVID-19 after presenting with flu-like symptoms.
Regional Health Officer, Dr Naail Uthman in a statement pleaded with residents to practice physical distancing, hand washing and sanitizing, wearing face masks, staying at home and desist from crossing the borders.
“Community spread of the virus continues and we are all at risk,” Dr Uthman said.
With the illegal border crossings from Brazil which has recorded 2.5 million cases, Dr Uthman said all villages are at extremely high risk.
Communities in the northeast of the Region are also battling floods from thundershowers in Brazil.
Photos saved in web as REG 9 1-3: COVID-19 health workers in Region Nine (Guyana South America Photo)