Reg. One communities request sanitisers, masks as COVID-19 cases climb


The communities of Warapoka and Waramuri in Region One have requested sanitisers and masks as the number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to increase.

These communities are located in Moruca in close proximity to the hotspot –Kwebanna—which proceeded on a 14-day lockdown this week after confirming over 60 positive cases.

Toshao of Waramuri, Learmond Emanuel, during a telephone interview with the News Room on Thursday, said to date, 30 residents tested positive for COVID-19 while the village leaders are awaiting the return of 29 results from samples collected on Wednesday.

He noted that Waramuri went into a semi lockdown on November 1 but residents are in need of more resources to proceed on a full-fledged lockdown.

“We do not have the human resources where we can enforce the lockdown, the village is widely spread open and so access in and out is open; nobody is there to ensure that the lockdown is enforced,” Emanuel said.

Toshao of Waramuri, Learmond Emanuel

The Toshao is pleading for assistance to help with enforcement and screening of persons as well as sanitisers and masks.

“Presently, within the areas, we do not have the face masks and like cleaning detergent and we’re asking for help in those areas. Aside from that, in Haimarakabra (located in Waramuri), we’re requesting help from any person who is willing to come on board to assist with food hampers,” Emanuel said.

Waramuri has a total of 2,500 residents of which Haimarakabra –the largest section –has 1,000 residents.

In another village located 50 miles from Kwebanna, the community of Warapoka is also requesting assistance to effectively screen persons and protect residents from COVID-19.

The village leader, Allan Henry told the News Room that three residents tested positive for COVID-19 so far, but 22 samples were taken and the results are expected shortly.

Village Leader of Warapoka, Allan Henry

If the positive cases reach 100 in the community of 575 residents, he said a lockdown will be instituted.

Henry said while most persons are adhering to the guidelines, the community has two entry points but the village council only has one temperature gun and there are resources to monitor only one of the locations. As such, persons are not effectively being screened for the disease.

“Right now, I am getting three persons to make face masks and so on but another thing is I don’t have sanitising liquids and so on…We got one of the [temperature guns] but we need more assistance with things like that,” the Toshao said.

In June 2020, Moruca was reported as the epicenter for COVID-19 cases in Region One. At that time, Santa Rosa, which is basically the town of the sub-district, saw the majority of the positive cases.

This was controlled after some time until Kwebanna –also in Moruca –began recording an increased number of cases.

As a result, the community was placed on a lockdown and the Ministry of Health has dispatched a team to the location to remain in the village for the duration of the lockdown.

On Wednesday, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony said the active COVID-19 cases in Kwebanna reduced from 62 to 52.  He said although more tests are being done, there has not been a spike in positive cases since the lockdown.

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