Relatives of woman who died from COVID-19 remain in isolation


By Bibi Khatoon

Four immediate relatives of the woman who died from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) remain in isolation but have shown no symptoms of the disease even though they were tested positive, one of them has told the News Room.

Another nine family members were put under mandatory quarantine after testing negative for the virus; none of them have shown symptoms of the virus, Suraj Baboolall told the News Room via telephone Wednesday.

Baboolall is one of the four confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Wednesday marks eight days since the four persons were put in isolation at a health facility; the News Room, at the request of health authorities will not disclose the isolation location.

Baboolall told the News Room that no family members have displayed any symptom of the virus thus far.

“No symptoms as yet; our vitals are being taken twice per day and we’re in perfect health,” he said.

However, Baboolall said health authorities have asked them to remain at the facility for another seven days after which new samples will be taken for additional tests.

“We supposed to go home today and they added 7 more days to our isolation,” he said.

Baboolall told the News Room that he and the other three persons tested positive for the disease are kept in one room while his other nine relatives are in another room.

He said the doctors have only provided Vitamin C tablets which are used to boost the immune system.

He is urging Guyanese to take the necessary precaution in order to curb the spread of the disease.

“Although we’re not showing any signs and symptoms, it is still in our body…the best I can tell people is it’s best to take precautions.

“I think people are scared to communicate with the health department because of that [discrimination]…but this is a virus, it is not that we went out and ask for it, it came to us. I will advise the Guyanese if you know someone has the symptoms, don’t discriminate them, help them if you can.”

Those who tested positive and those under mandatory quarantine are all related to 52-year-old Ratna Baboolall who was the first confirmed case in Guyana and who subsequently died at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Her diagnosis was only known after her death on March 11. The woman, along with her husband and children, had travelled from the United States of America.

According to the World Health Organisation, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhoea.

These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but do not develop any symptoms and do not feel unwell.

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

There is no treatment for the COVID-19.

Health authorities only conduct tests if a person shows symptoms of the virus or if they came into direct contact with a person who is tested positive.

President David Granger, through the publication of an extraordinary gazette, has since issued sweeping orders he said is intended to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Additionally, the Ministry of Public Health has since set up toll-free hotlines in Region Four: 231-1166, 226-7480, 624-6674, 624-3067; Region Two: 682-4210; Region Seven: 675-9131, 654-0405, 697-0656; Region Eight: 608-7517; Region Ten: 444-3007 and Region Nine: 777-2206. 

The virus which originated in China has spread to 196 countries upto March 25 and is responsible for 8,433 deaths, according to the WHO.

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