Executive Director of the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), Jean La Rose is calling on members of the various Indigenous communities across Guyana to desist from disobeying the Covid-19 rules.
La Rose made the call during a telephone Interview with Kaieteur News last Tuesday. The Executive said that she was forced to make a public statement after she had received many reports that members of her hometown Santa Rosa, Moruca North West District (NWD) Region one have not been obeying the Covid-19 rules implemented for the nation’s wellbeing.
In fact, she said that many have not been cooperating with the local health authorities and some have even refused to be quarantined.
La Rose also noted that rumours have also been circulating in Indigenous communities that the novel coronavirus is a political gimmick and not a real disease. Others, she added, have chosen to rely on cultural remedies such medicinal plants to protect them against infection. She said that, misled by the rumours and over-reliant on their beliefs, Amerindian men and women have continued to traverse and intermingle with each other without adhering to the rules. They continue to visit the mines regularly and gather at bars for recreational drinks.
La Rose told this paper that such ignorance must be fought and wants more education and awareness in the Amerindian communities. The executive hopes that the recent Covid-19 death of a highly respected individual, the Late Vincent Torres within the Santa Rosa Community of Moruca can serve as a wake-up call for many Indigenous people who reside in the hinterland communities.
With travel restricted into the villages, La Rose has taken to social media over the past few days to both share information and make direct appeals to the Indigenous communities.
“Today I wake up knowing,” La Rose posted on her Facebook page yesterday, “that my village Santa Rosa has multiple cases of COVID-19. If this is not a wakeup call for residents, then nothing will be. To those who are still in denial, think not of yourself, but of the other family members who could become infected by just one person who is careless. Think about the innocent people who you have put at risk. From the inception, I have been urging people to be careful and take all necessary precautions but this cannot happen when everyone else behave[s] like it is life as usual. Considering that no one is infallible.”
According to recent figures coming out of the Ministry of Public Health, three out of the four hinterland regions across Guyana have reported positive cases of Covid-19. In a recent press release by the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region Seven, it was revealed that eight persons have tested positive within the district for the novel coronavirus.
Meanwhile in Moruca, a sub-district of Region One, there have been two confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 with one death. Lethem and Mabaruma have also confirmed positive cases.
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