Regional Officials Warn that Illegal Migration from Brazil Could Increase COVID Cases

Staff conduct disinfection at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, June 16, 2020 (Xinhua/Rahel Patrasso)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – A senior regional official in Guyana says the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Region 9 of the country has become a challenge as a result of the increased number of illegal travel from Brazil.

Regional Executive Officer of Region 9, Carl Parker, said there have been 36 active COVID cases, all of being imported.

“They are 23 new cases in the region, that in addition to the 18 we had before. Of those 18, four have recovered and one died, so that is 23 and 13 active cases that we now have.” Parker said.

But he made it clear that no resident of Lethem in Region 9 has been diagnosed with the virus and that the cases were imported from neighbouring Brazil.

“Persons are still coming across the border and when they reach the villages, residents are hiding them, so when the team shows up, they are told that they are no persons from the border.

“But now we know persons are coming from the border. Those cases did not come from Lethem, we have no reports of anyone in Lethem with COVID, everything is from across Brazil,” Parker said, warning that the practice of harbouring migrants threatens local communities with the spread of COVID-19.

“That is a dangerous situation,” he said, adding that he has since raised the matter with the local Toshaos.

“Despite all the pleading, begging and information out there, persons are still not adhering to the safety guidelines,” Parker stated.

Community leaders have been called on to ensure residents are adhering to the health guidelines.

Guyana has recorded 389 cases of the virus with 20 deaths. Brazil is one of the countries in the world with a high number of deaths associated with the virus. As of July 28, Brazil recorded some 2,455,905 COVID-19 cases and 88,000 deaths.

CMC

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