East Berbice Corentyne registered a spike in COVID-19 cases after the region entered the New Year with zero active. On Friday, the Regional Covid – 19 Task Force confirmed that there are 38 active cases. Eight deaths were recorded, five of those persons were above 60 years old with underlying medical conditions.
Regional Health officer Dr Vishalya Sharma says feels that the spike can be controlled. She noted that there are several factors that contributed to the spread of the virus, among these are the noncompliance by residents and several business places within the region.
“We have quite a few residents in Region Six who are of the opinion that COVID doesn’t exist and we have a fraction of patients who have their swab done but still on the road despite all the necessary measures being put in place,” she said, “so noncompliance of the residents in the region is definitely one of the challenges we are faced with because we still have business places with COVID cases that need to adhere to the guidelines” She added.
The Region plans to increase testing over the next couple weeks. Health authorities want to isolate, and quarantine persons with the aim of reducing the number of cases. Dr Sharma said that an additional testing site is expected to be established within East Berbice Corentyne to help detect any new cases. Regional Chairman and head of the Regional COVID – 19 Task Force, David Armogan believes that there was “a lapse during” the holiday season by the Guyana Police Force. The police are expected to enforce covid-19 measures.
“Because I have seen for myself there were a large gathering within the town of New Amsterdam especially and even outside of New Amsterdam in the other areas within the region and the police would have been passing up and down and doing nothing at all…but as you know they are good policemen and they are others who you know sometimes do not pay ..to enforcing the law…but the police have a very serious role to play.”
Meanwhile, increased training is ongoing within the region to ensure that additional medical professionals can conduct swabbing for COVID – 19.