Full lockdown for St Cuthbert’s Mission after health workers, teachers test positive for COVID-19

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By Isanella Patoir

St Cuthbert’s Mission, an indigenous village along the Mahaica River in Region Four, will proceed on a full two-week lockdown from Saturday, November 7, after teachers and healthcare workers tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 disease.

The News Room understands that the small indigenous community, which has a population of approximately 1,500 residents, recorded 58 COVID-19 cases in one week – the first cases recorded since the virus reached Guyana in March.

Among the positive cases are all three of the village health workers, three teachers and a village councillor. The Toshao, Beverly Clenkian, during an interview with the News Room, said over100 persons were tested within the last few days after one of the villagers tested positive last week.

This patient is in isolation at the COVID-19 hospital at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, while the other 57 patients are in home isolation in the village.

The tests were done in batches.

Toshao, Beverly Clenkian

“We heard one of the residents was positive, so the team came into my village and Saturday, we did testing where 52 persons were tested and out of the 52 on Monday morning, we got the news that 25 persons were positive.

“Everyone is on home isolation and we had a meeting with the COVID -19 team and if they do not adhere to our rules to be in the home, we will take them to Madewini to isolate them,” the Toshao said.

She further explained that another 52 persons were tested a few days later and 33 results came back positive.

“Testing still going on and we waiting on results,” the Toshao said.

A health team from Georgetown is providing support to the village during this time. A team from the Ministries of Health and Amerindian Affairs and the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) will be visiting the village to distribute food hampers and provide other support during the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education was given the green light for schools to be reopened on Monday, November 09 for students in grades 10, 11 and 12 who are preparing for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) next year but students in St Cuthbert’s Mission will not be returning to school due to the lockdown.

“I already talked with the Regional Education Officer and she said she had a talk with the Minister and she don’t mind for the two weeks, because primary school teachers and nursery school teachers are positive,” the Toshao said.

The Toshao is advising all residents to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and families from COVID-19.

Guyana as of November 05 recorded 4, 393 positive cases, 132 deaths and 3, 409 recoveries. Region Four continues to record the highest number of cases, with the overall total at 2, 060.

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