Due to an increase in COVID-19 deaths over the past month, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) for the Barima-Waini Region will be screening all of its senior citizens for the disease.
This was disclosed by Regional Chairman Brentnol Ashley during an interview with the media on Monday.
“We’ve had one too many deaths and so we’re working right now on a project, which will be rolled out shortly, in which every senior citizen –with help from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security – will be screened and if there is a need, they will be tested for COVID-19 so that we can be preventative rather than to react to them getting COVID-19,” Ashley told the media.
He said help will be provided through the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) and the Village councils to ensure each senior citizen is covered.
“…for instance, the need for our senior citizens to get to the post office for their pensions can be reduced so as not to put them at risk to get COVID-19,” the Regional Chairman said.
Region One, with approximately 50 villages, has reported 24 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
In an interview with the News Room earlier this month, Regional Health Officer Dr Stephen Cheefoon said the patients who died in the region were all elderly with underlying health conditions. In most cases, he said the persons died at home and were tested positive for the virus after their death.
To access remote areas, Ashley on Monday told the media that the RDC will be using its resources.
“Wherever there are resources of the State, within the RDC that can be used, that is what we have mandated happen as soon as possible,” he noted.
The Region has so far recorded 664 COVID-19 cases of which 92 are active.
While cases in Mabaruma has reduced significantly, some villages in Moruca which was previously named a hot spot, are still facing issues.
At the weekend, the village of Kwebanna proceeded on a 14-days lockdown to curb the spread of the disease.
In his COVID-19 update on Tuesday, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony said health teams in the Region have ramped up retrieval of samples from persons who are showing signs of COVID-19 and those who have been exposed to someone who tested positive.
According to him, there are 61 active cases in the village.
Sanitation teams have also been spraying the homes of persons who tested positive or those who may have been exposed to the disease and advising them on quarantine and isolation methods within their homes.