Four persons who tested for COVID-19 die without results

- Region Seven officials concerned over delay

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Officials in Bartica, Region Seven are concerned over the time taken to receive COVID-19 test results.

Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall told the News Room that four persons were swabbed for COVID-19 two weeks ago but died last weekend before receiving their results.

“We’ve had four persons died at the weekend under interesting circumstances and they were displaying the signs of the COVID virus. Those persons were swabbed days before, they passed and to date, we have not gotten back their results,” the Mayor explained.

Marshall said the protocol to hand over the bodies for burial will take place after the results are returned and this is also causing some frustration for the family members.

The Mayor said this is a major concern in the Region since it proves to be more difficult to do contact tracing when the results are finally made available.

“If indeed these persons or one of these individuals do test positive, it means we will have to isolate persons who came into contact with them and we will also have to test them but if we test those family and we take another week or two to get those results, then it’s further trouble for us.”

Mayor of Bartica, Gifford Marshall

Marshall told the News Room that mass testing was done at the Bartica Market on August 9 after two vendors tested positive for COVID-19 but to date, the results are still pending.

“So do have some challenges in terms of the timeliness of the results coming from Georgetown and I guess it’s because of the number of [samples] coming from across the country and that is affecting us tremendously,” the Mayor said.

Region Seven has so far recorded 167 COVID-19 cases of which 27 are in Bartica of which six works in the health sector.

Mining

The Mayor said one of the major areas of concern in Bartica is a community called Agatash in which there are 17 COVID-19 cases.

He explained that it is a closely knit community which depends on mining economically and several miners have been frequenting the mining areas and returning home.

In order to deal with this issue, Regional officials have reached out to the Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony for some clarifications.

Marshall explained that it is difficult to put restrictions in place since with mining given the green light, “we cannot afford to have miners in the interior and cut off all of their transportation and that kind of thing…we cannot cut off food supplies…”

He welcomes the curfew which is in place from 6pm to 6am but said more will be put in place once guidance is given.

The former APNU+AFC administration had suspended mining activities at Aranka/Arangoy Landing in Region Seven.

However, the PPP/C Government at the weekend gave green light for mining operations in Regions Seven, Eight, and Nine to resume under strict guidelines.

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