‘Bush medicine’, daily exercise attributed to Santa Rosa COVID-19 fast recovery


By Isanella Patoir

Antonio Torres, a 28-year-old secondary school teacher in Santa Rosa, Moruca in Region One is a recovered COVID-19 patient who has credited his recovery to a lot of exercise and what is known in Guyana as ‘bush medicine.’

Torres is among the first set of positive cases in the village and was one of the last to leave isolation.

“I was next to two neighbours and these guys were scared because they had symptoms and one of them, his foot was getting numb and the other one was coughing a lot – I told them to exercise and those symptoms went away and we also drank a lot of bush medicine,” Torres told the News Room during a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Antonio Torres

Torres, whose father is the only recorded COVID-19 death in Region One, believes the exercise and alternative medicinal treatment played a major role in the fast recovery in Santa Rosa.

He explained that the medicine was a blend of different herbs. He had his friends blend the medicine and distribute to the patients.

“In the end it tasted bitter and you drink half cup once a day.

“After my dad died and he had dengue and that was a virus and I know the medicine good for dengue and… this COVID-19 is a virus…I said maybe this could work also,” Torres explained.

Sanitizing of streets in Santa Rosa (Photo: Antonio Torres)

The medicine was given to as many patients that would take it and Torres highlighted that the COVID-19 doctors had no issue with this.

“…after all, the disease has no treatment and it seemed to work a whole lot.”

Santa Rosa is now COVID-19 free and no new cases were reported in recent days. Torres, who tested positive on May 25 and spent 53 days in isolation, said positive messages from friends and family also added to their recovery.

“I used to cry a lot being isolated but my friends would contact me a lot and message me,” Torres said.

Meanwhile, his mother 49-year-old Yvette Torres who is also a teacher tested positive. She spent six weeks in isolation.

COVID-19 Health Worker in Santa Rosa (Photo: Antonio Torres)

According to Mrs Torres she did not experience any of the symptoms of COVID-19.

The young Torres explained that he and his mother took his father to the Kumaka Hospital two days before he died. He is disappointed in the hospital and believes that more could have been done to help his father. The man was experiencing fever and shortness of breath.

“Dad went to the hospital before and they just took his pressure and sent him away,” Torres said.

Torres does not know when or how his father contracted the virus but said that his father had travelled to the Essequibo Coast two weeks prior.

“It has been really rough time having a death in the family and then being isolated,” Torres said.

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