Two-week lockdown for Orealla/Siparuta


The indigenous villages of Orealla/Siparuta, situated along the Corentyne River in Region Six, will proceed on a two-week lockdown effective Friday, November 27, as the COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the communities.

This was revealed by Toshao of the villages, Carl Peneux during an interview with the News Room on Thursday evening. He noted that the rise in the numbers is alarming and so the village council made the hard decision of imposing the lockdown.

“Our COVID positive cases are going up. As of now, I am preparing a script to go on Radio Orealla because we are imposing a lockdown on Orealla/ Siparuta as of 06:00am tomorrow. If we don’t do this, it will continue to spread and we want to take extra precautions,” the Toshao told the News Room.

Both communities have recorded a total of 53 positive cases. The communities have a population of about 2,400 residents.

During the lockdown, the council will provide each household with a hamper consisting of basic food supplies; the council hopes that agencies like the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) will also provide assistance.

“When we made this decision, the council made a plan and the village council will sponsor the foodstuff for every household. In fact, tomorrow, Sipiruta village will be receiving their package for every household. And in Orealla the council will purchase the foodstuff early next week; more than likely Monday, to distribute on Tuesday or Wednesday, and if there is any assistance coming from anywhere else like the CDC or task force, we will welcome it.”

In the meantime, the Toshao is pleading with residents to adhere to the gazetted COVID-19 measures as they continue the fight against the virus. He also warned that persons who fail to do so will face the consequences.

Orealla and Siparuta are located seven miles apart and are governed by the same village council, which had restricted movements between the two communities in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease after Siparuta first reported 16 positive cases on Saturday last.

Siparuta has also recorded two COVID-19 related deaths – an 87-year-old man who died while receiving treatment at a medical facility on Tuesday and the first patient, an 89-year-old man, who died on November 21 at the Skeldon Hospital. To date, Region Six has recorded a total of six COVID-19 deaths.

While health authorities are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation in both communities, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony recently said a lockdown will not be necessary for Siparuta.

The total number of tests done in both communities within the last few days is 514. Testing is ongoing, as well as stringent contact tracing, throughout the region.

Region Six has recorded 182 COVID-19 cases as of November 26.

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