Lethem ups contact tracing after first COVID-19 patient escapes quarantine

Regional Health authorities in Lethem (Upper Takutu- Upper Essequibo) are upping their contact tracing efforts after the border town recorded its first case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Monday.

The Region’s patient zero has been identified as Hamlet Da Silva. He holds dual citizenship; Brazil and Guyana.

After he was tested positive for COVID-19 patient, the man escaped from the Lethem Regional Hospital during heavy downfall at about 6:00h on Tuesday. He was later recaptured in Bonfim, Brazil.

Based on information received, after escaping from the Regional Hospital, the man entered Brazil via illegal crossing and was immediately nabbed by Police in that country. He was subsequently taken to a health facility in Brazil.

Regional Health Officer (RHO), Dr Naail Uthman told this publication that doctors within the Region are currently in contact with health authorities in Brazil.

Da Silva was being treated for malaria in Brazil, but after his condition worsened, he visited the Lethem Regional Hospital and was immediately put in isolation after he displayed severe symptoms of COVID-19.

The RHO said that at present the hospital is doing contact tracing given that the man would have come in contact with several other persons.

“We are all trying to deal with contract tracing and that is what we are doing right now because this man came into contact with several persons,” Dr Uthman stated.