6 students, 5 teachers test positive for COVID-19 in Bartica

…tests for Region 9 students return negative – Minister

The township of Bartica

Education Minister Priya Manickchand on Tuesday said that a total of five teachers, six students and two ancillary staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) thus far.
Commenting on the situation, the Minister expressed, “While this is worrying, it is instructive to indicate just how many may be asymptomatic for if they were not tested, they would not know. So, each of us must treat as though each person we meet is positive. We must take the medically recommended precautions all the time.”
One week ago, it was disclosed that two students at dormitories in Bartica tested positive for COVID-19. Reports are one of the students was staying at the Three Miles Secondary School dormitory, while the other was saying at the Bartica Secondary School dormitory.
Meanwhile, all swabs for COVID-19 from Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) students have returned negative. These individuals were attached to two schools in the township.
Eight students, who were being housed at the President’s College dorm, had also tested positive for COVID-19 last week. That was out of a total of 139 students housed at the educational facility. All eight of them were from Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni).
Minister Manickchand also announced that all students attending dormitory schools would be tested for COVID-19 as part of the Government’s efforts to ensure students’ safety.
Last week, the Health Ministry announced that officials had started contact tracing for the eight President’s College students who contracted the virus. Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony made this disclosure during his daily COVID-19 update.
The reopening of schools for Grades 10, 11 and 12 and those attending practical, technical and vocational institutes earlier this month would have seen a high turnout of teachers and students. Schools across the country were closed on March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Education Ministry gave parents the option of keeping their children home if they were uncomfortable sending them back to school in the COVID-19 situation. Parents can also opt to have their children transferred to the nearest secondary school – a process that can be completed in less than 24 hours. (G12)