Health team departs Orealla/Siparuta; lockdown still in effect

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The external health team sent to do mass testing in Orealla/Siparuta, Region Six following an outbreak of COVID-19 two weeks ago, departed the communities on Monday on the grounds that the situation is under control.

The indigenous communities, however, remain under a full two-week lockdown which took effect on Friday last.

Siparuta recorded a total of 62 positive cases of which 49 persons have recovered as of Tuesday, while Orealla recorded 36 cases and 31 recoveries. A total of 616 tests were done in both communities, but the Toshao of both villages, Carl Penux, told the News Room on Tuesday that testing has been halted since the medical team left.

“Testing has stopped; the health team that was here returned to the Coast and we only have the resident doctor here,” the Toshao said.

It was noted that only persons who show symptoms of COVID-19 and those who came into contact with a positive case, will be tested.

It is expected that within 10 days, all the remaining patients in home isolation will be discharged. All of the patients are asymptomatic.

With the assistance of police ranks in the communities, the Toshao said persons have been adhering to the lockdown.

Prior to the lockdown, the village council attempted to restrict movement between Siparuta and Orealla, after Siparuta first recorded 16 positive cases on November 21.

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 last 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.

However, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony had stated that a lockdown was not necessary at this time.

The lockdown is being sustained by the village council; the Toshao explained that a boat will leave the communities once per week to bring in fuel and food supplies.

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