COVID kills father, son at Lowlands  

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…days after daughter had died from heart attack
…villagers worried about spread of virus  

By Svetlana Marshall 

An East Coast of Demerara (ECD) family was almost entirely wiped out after a father and son succumbed to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), days after the daughter suffered a heart attack and died on her way to the hospital.

Hoattie Baneswarie holding up is wife’s death registration

The past two months for Hoattie Baneswarie has been nothing but tragic and painful as he grapples with the loss of his wife, Indrawattie Samaroo; her father, James Samaroo as well as her brother Shivnarine Samaroo.


Baneswarie, in an interview with Village Voice Newspaper, said it was in the month of April when tragedy first struck the family. Baneswarie said it was after a wedding celebration at his residence on March 21, 2021, that his wife, for 24 years, fell ill. “She was troubling with pressure and sugar for the longest while, about 10-years now; and like she fatigue she self during the wedding and get sick,” Baneswarie said. The couple would then visit a number of private health practitioners in search of help, but the 41-year-old Indrawattie Samaroo did not make it. She suffered a fatal heart attack on April 4, 2021.

Much to his disappointment, Indrawattie Samaroo’s death was followed by “rumours” that she had died from COVID-19 but this he said was far from the truth. “She never died from COVID-19, she died from heart attack,” Baneswarie insisted as he presented Village Voice Newspaper with a copy of his wife’s death registration.

However, he admitted that his father-in-law, 75-year-old James Samaroo; and his brother-in-law, 47-year-old Shivnarine Samaroo, died days apart while receiving COVID-19 treatment at the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Liliendaal. “Indrawattie died on the 4th April, my father-in-law died on the 21st April and then my brother-in-law died on May 4th, which was our wedding anniversary day, 24 years of marriage,” Baneswarie said as he broke down in tears.

He said James and Shivnarine Samaroo lived at Cove and John on the East Coast of Demerara but depended heavily on his wife for assistance since both of them had health complications. Baneswarie, while not ruling out that the two men had COVID-19, expressed the view that their underlying illnesses had contributed significantly to their deaths.

DEAD: Shivnarine Samaroo

“She [Indrawattie] father use to travel with a urine system; he use to take some tablets fuh help he, but since he go into this system [hospital], they did not give him back the tablet, and he needed the tablet two times per day,” Baneswarie complained. He opined that had his father-in-law received the necessary medication for his underlining condition, he would have been alive today.

Shivnarine Samaroo, on the other hand, was diagnosed with Jaundice, and had relied heavily on his sister to provide home remedies. “After the wedding done, she nah feel too well a couple days, he nah drink his medication because she not get to mek um fuh um. Now she die, he nah get to drink back no medication, now the father come and die, he still nah a get no medication,” Baneswarie said.

Covid is real  

The Lowland resident wants Guyanese to know that COVID-19 is real. Since the death of his wife and her relatives, Baneswarie have remained in the confines of the yard and would only venture out when it is absolutely necessary, and in accordance with the COVID-19 measures.

James Samaroo and his son are among the 171 persons, who would have died from COVID-19 for 2021 alone. However, statistical data coming out of the Ministry of Health indicates that of May 14, 2021, 335 persons have died in Guyana from the virus since it was first detected here on March 11, 2020.

As of Friday, May 14, 2021, Guyana had 14,988 confirmed cases of the virus of which 143 cases were new. At the time, 14 persons were in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) while 113 persons were in institutional isolation and another 1,692 persons were in home isolation.

Based on the statistical data provided, Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) continues to be the epicenter for COVID-19 with more than 7,217 cases recorded; followed by Region Three (Essequibo-Islands West Demerara) with 1,751 cases; Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) with 1,148 confirmed cases; Region One (Barima-Waini) with 1,098 cases and Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) with 1,015 cases.

DEAD: James Samaroo

Notably, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) has the lowest number of confirmed cases with 270; followed by Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) with 410 confirmed cases of the virus; Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) with 483 and Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) with 662 and Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) with 934 confirmed cases.

Though 12,834 persons have recovered from the virus to date, the increasing number of deaths remains a major cause for concern. Between March and December, 2020, Guyana had recorded 164 COVID-19 related deaths, however, just five months into 2021, the country has already surpassed that figure with 171 deaths recorded as of Friday.

The Ministry of Health has said that the majority of the patients, who succumbed to COVID-19, had co-morbidities or in other words, preexisting conditions.

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