Family members of 56-year-old Roger Martindale – who has been recorded as Guyana’s latest COVID-19 death – are vehemently refuting the Public Health Ministry’s claim that the man died of COVID-19.
Martindale, a resident of Bartica, Region Seven and a father of one, reportedly passed away since Monday at the Bartica Regional Hospital. However, his death was only announced yesterday by Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO), Dr. Karen Gordon-Boyle during the daily COVID-19 update.
Martindale is said to be Guyana’s 20th COVID-19 death.
The man was laid to rest a few hours before the Ministry’s announcement.
The dead man’s sister, Joanne Martindale, during an interview with Guyana Standard, explained that over the last four months, her brother was being treated for Tuberculosis (TB) at the Bartica Regional Hospital, but due to COVID-19, they were requested to treat him at home.
“When we took him to Bartica Hospital they tested him and said he has TB; they did not treat him in the hospital because of the coronavirus, so they said they were going to treat him home and we had to separate him from people,” the grieving sister explained.
She further related to this publication that the family would usually uplift treatment for the man at the hospital. However, last week, his health began to deteriorate and was taken to the facility where an X-ray revealed that his lungs were worsening, which caused his other organs to not function properly.
TB is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attacks the lungs, but can also damage other parts of the body.
On Sunday, Martindale began complaining of not being able to breathe and was taken back to the hospital where another X-ray was done, showing that his lungs were destroyed.
“They took the X-tray, and it showed that his lungs had completely gone and were done affecting the heart, and he doesn’t have long more to live. He went at Bartica Hospital for two days. Why didn’t you take this coronavirus test before he died? Why did you wait till he died then you come to take a coronavirus test,” the distressed sister questioned of health authorities.
The family pointed out that throughout Martindale’s stay at the hospital, he was placed with COVID-19 patients. However, on Tuesday, when family members went to drop off the usual breakfast, they learnt about the death.
The family complained that the dead man was placed in the mortuary even before they could have seen him.
“When my other brother carried food for my brother and gave it to the guard, and the guard went up to the ward, and he didn’t see Roger because he is in the mortuary. Tell me, my brother is a dog?” The family again questioned the hospital.
The family is claiming that on to now, the Ministry has not reached out to them to inform them of their brother’s passing.
“Tell me if it is right for the family to meet up with these things at Bartica. My brother passed away, and the nurse, doctor, nobody at the hospital cannot call us on the phone.”
The family is contending that if the man had Coronavirus, the hospital should not have allowed them to host his funeral and should have already deployed health officials to conduct tests on the family.
“Since they know that my brother died from coronavirus, they should have come and shut us down. If my brother had coronavirus tell me to all God why they allowed us to bring him home then? Why they allowed us to collect the body,” the heartbroken sister stated while tearing.
For the month of July, a whopping eight COVID-related deaths were recorded.
Guyana’s 19th COVID-19 death was recorded on July 15. A 36-year-old male from the North West District in Region One who died at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). He was in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and died less than 24 hours after the 18th death was recorded.
Milton Paul, a 74-year-old resident of Campbellville Housing Scheme, Georgetown, has been recorded as Guyana’s 18th COVID-19 related death.
Guyana recorded its 17th COVID-19 related death on July 11 at the West Demerara Regional Hospital at Vreed-en-Hoop, West Coast Demerara. Geerjadai Jagnarine, 69, of Seventh Street, Cummings Lodge, East Coast Demerara (ECD), was discovered dead by hospital staff.
She had multiple complications and was in the isolation unit of the hospital.
Guyana’s 16th COVID-19 related death was recorded on July 5 at the Georgetown Public Hospital. May Portsmouth, 76, resided at Friendship, East Coast Demerara; she was tested positive after she died.
Just two days before Protsmouth’s death, a 25-year-old teacher of the Arapaima Nursery School in Lethem, Region Nine, who was air-dashed to the Georgetown Public Hospital to treat a blood disorder died from the disease.
Donna Ambrose Greaves, a mother of a 7-year-old boy, was recorded as Guyana’s 15th COVID-19 death, less than a week after two others died from the same disease.
The country’s 14th COVID-19 death was a 34-year-old father of three of Bartica. Abdool Khan died at the Georgetown Public Hospital on July 2. Just two days prior to Khan’s death, Guyana recorded its 13th COVID-19 death at the GPHC.
That individual was identified as 42-year-old Kevin Ridley, Bent Street, Albouystown resident.
Kevin Ridley was referred to the Accident and Emergency Unit of the hospital on June 29 by another health facility. He had complained of shortness of breath, and so doctors at the hospital conducted a COVID-19 test on him, but he died hours later the same day at the hospital.
As of July 24, 2020, the country has recorded 352 cases with 20 deaths. The number of active cases in institutional isolation is 154, including four persons in the COVID-19 ICU.
A total of 33 persons are in institutional quarantine, and to date, 178 persons have recovered.