Santa Rosa in Region One is COVID-19 free


By Isanella Patoir

One of the COVID-19 hotspots in the country, Santa Rosa, Moruca Region One is now COVID-19 free. As of July 31, 2020 the final two COVID-19 patients who were in isolation recovered.

The first COVID-19 case in Santa Rosa was recorded in April and weeks after a number of teachers, health workers and police officers tested positive for the deadly virus. Of the 89 confirmed cases, 10 were children. A total of 246 tests were done in the village.

The Toshao, Whanita Phillips in an interview with the News Room attributed the recovery to the health workers and their hard work. The village recorded one single COVID-19 death on May 25 and none of the patients who tested positive had to be transported to Georgetown for further treatment.

“We don’t have any new cases at the moment.

“I think the health workers did a fantastic job along with the Village Council and whoever chip in to help and it is under control and I would like to see it that way,” the Toshao said.

Recovered COVID-19 patient in Santa Rosa leaving isolation (Antonio Torres Photo)

The Toshao said the residents are finally coming to grips with the situation and are adhering to the COVID-19 measures, however, the village remains in total lockdown until August 15. The strict 6pm to 6am curfew also remains in effect.

The Toshao explained that the challenge now is maintaining the 12,000 residents under the lockdown to prevent a second wave of infection. Santa Rosa is the largest indigenous settlement in Guyana.

The Amerindian People’s Association (APA) is providing support to the village and others affected during this time but the Toshao noted that only about 1,000 residents so far benefitted.

“There are still a lot of persons that need assistance and we only reach out to 1000 persons,” the Toshao said.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old Santa Rosa Secondary student, Ecinella Francis tested positive on June 24. The young woman had returned to school to prepare for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams and believes she contracted the virus from her class teacher. Two other CSEC students from the school also tested positive.

“She was tested positive for the virus too,” Francis said.

Recovered COVID-19 patient, Ecinella Francis

Francis was scheduled to write seven subjects at this year’s examination but this did not happen after she tested positive and she is now disappointed that she will have to wait until next year to write the exams. Over 30 students were registered to write the CSEC exams at the Santa Rosa Secondary School.

“When I was in isolation they told me I can’t sit any exams until next year.

“I feel very disappointed because I had plans after I finish writing CXC to start medical school,” Francis said.

She also noted that it was challenging being in isolation “but I got through eventually.”

Francis was in isolation for over a month and only came out on July 30th.

Guyana on August 02, 2020 recorded a total of 474 COVID-19 cases.





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