Anna Regina Deputy Mayor is latest COVID-19 death; 15 relatives in isolation after testing positive
By Isanella Patoir
Sixty-nine-year old Rudolph Williams, the deputy mayor of Anna Regina (Region Two) has been recorded as the country’s 148th COVID-19 death.
The father of seven, of Hampton Court, Essequibo Coast, died Tuesday afternoon in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Georgetown Public Hospital. He is now the 22nd person to die for November so far.
The News Room understands that Williams tested positive on November 15; he spent nine days in the ICU after he was transferred from the Suddie Hospital in Essequibo on November 16.
The News Room understands that 15 family members, including Williams’ wife, his children, their spouses, and his grandchildren all tested positive and are currently in home isolation. A young relative, who travelled from Region One to attend school on the coastland, also tested positive for the dreaded disease.
One of his sons, Fenton Williams, told the News Room on Wednesday that one week before his father tested positive, he injured his right thumb on a door and it got infected. The elder Williams was diabetic and suffered from high cholesterol.
According to Fenton, his father later developed a mild fever but the family thought it was as a result of his diabetes and cholesterol.
“He was a diabetic as well and had high cholesterol, however, he had crushed his right thumb and it got infected, so we thought that it was the thumb that was giving him the fever,” Fenton explained.
Fenton said his father was first taken to the Anna Regina Health Centre where he was treated for the injured thumb and sent home. But after he still maintained a fever, they took him to a private doctor to test his blood sugar level, cholesterol; he also tested for dengue and typhoid.
After all the test results came back negative, the family was further advised that Williams take a COVID-19 test at the Suddie Hospital. While at the hospital, Fenton said his father then developed shortness of breath and was immediately placed into isolation at the hospital.
“He was [isolated] from Thursday [November 12], he took the test on Friday [November 13] and on Sunday [November 15] his results came back and it was positive,” Fenton said.
Fenton said the family is “emotionally traumatised” about Williams’ passing and even more so that he died alone. The family remains baffled as to where they could have contracted the disease.
“Actually, the family took all necessary precautions; daddy would always advocate for wearing masks and using hand sanitisers.”
The family became extra cautious after three of Williams’ cousins died from COVID-19 within weeks of each other. Estella Williams of Moblissa on the Soesdyke Linden Highway died on November 05, while at the Wismar Hospital in Linden while two brothers – Calvin Abrams and Carl Abrams – of Waramuri, Region One died in late October.
“We still have to keep strong because my mom is a [elderly] woman just like my dad and myself, my brother and sisters we all have to try to keep strong just to allow mom to feel comfortable,” Fenton said.
Originally from Waramuri Village, Williams spent over 30 years as a teacher and subsequently a headteacher. He taught at schools in the Pomeroon and indigenous villages across the country.
“As an indigenous person he was very outstanding in terms of his efforts and sacrifices he went through to get an education back in his days,” former Regional Chairman for Region Two, Davenand Ramdat told the News Room.
Williams also served as an administrator at various organisations; he was the secretary of the Board for the Essequibo Technical Institute and at the time of his death, the Deputy Mayor for Anna Regina.
Fenton spoke with pride when he said his father was a well-rounded individual who touched thousands of lives in Guyana.
“My dad was a great son of the soil, in whatever capacity he was in, he served with excellence; he was an educator, he was a dad, he was a real man of God, he was a mentor, a friend and he was a politician.”
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Anna Regina, Rajendra Prabhulall, told the News Room that after Williams’ diagnosis, the staff and councillors at the Town Council were all swabbed and the results came back negative.
“He was a very good person, he worked well, he was a good leader and he was a jovial person and his focus was to develop the town,” the Mayor said.