Latest COVID-19 victim’s family quarantine for two weeks, still to be tested


Seventy-three-year-old Wilfred James became the country’s 23rd COVID-19 related death on Sunday. James, who suffered from diabetes, was admitted to the Georgetown Public Hospital on August 04, 2020 and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 on August 08.

He was placed on a ventilator in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit. His son, Mark James, during an interview with the News Room on Monday explained that his mother and sister remain in home quarantine awaiting the COVID-19 test.

The family lives at Kuru Kururu on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway. The son said none of them have displayed any symptoms.

“They told us we had to be home quarantined and don’t leave the house, so since then we haven’t left this house and we haven’t been tested,” Mark said.

The News Room understands that James became ill with the flu at the end of July.

“My mother would give him bush medicine and he started to get better. During the week, he was in the yard and the sun was hot then he got wet and the cold got heavier,” Mark said.

James then started coughing persistently and was taken to the Soesdyke Health Centre on August 04. He was then transferred to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre and subsequently sent away to the Georgetown Hospital.

“When we took him to Diamond they told us that he needed to be transferred to Georgetown Hospital because it is suspected case of COVID-19,” Mark explained.

After he was admitted to the hospital, the family said they spoke with James on the phone. But the last time the family heard from him was on August 07.

When the family was unable to contact him the next day they visited the hospital where they were informed that he tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Mark, the doctors had assured them that he was stable and doing well despite being in the ICU. Mark said they were shocked when they received the news on Sunday that he had died.

“…yesterday about 03:15 I got a call from the doctor and he told me my dad passed away.”

Meanwhile, Mark further told the News Room that they were advised to stay at home and wait to be tested. He said health workers had called to say they will visit the home on Monday August 10.

“We never get back that call; daily somebody does call from the Ministry of Health and find out if we have any symptoms.”

Mark said it is unclear as to where his father could have contracted the virus, as they have been taking the necessary precautions. He stated that his father visited the Soesdyke Health Centre to get vitamins and checkups one week before getting ill. He also said that his sister who works at a dental school and him who works at Muneshwars Limited would leave and return home every day.

“My mother and father was home all the time, but I work and my sister work so I don’t know if there is a possibility that it happen like that,” Mark said.

Wilfred James served in the Guyana Defence Force for some 18 years.



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