Bartica family demands answers about death of latest COVID-19 victim

Roger Martindale

Family members of 56-year-old Roger Martindale – who is recorded as the country’s 20th Covid-19 death – are suspicious of the diagnosis.

In fact, they are also furious with the way in which they were informed of the man’s death.

Martindale of Bartica, Region Seven died on Tuesday but his passing was announced on Friday by health authorities.

Joanne Martindale, the man’s sister, told this publication that her brother was sick for the past four months and upon seeking treatment at the Bartica Regional Hospital, doctors diagnosed him with Tuberculosis (TB) after conducting tests.

“They didn’t keep him in the hospital because of the Corona(virus). They said they will treat him at home and we had to separate him from people,” the woman explained.

She relayed that the family rented a house in front of the yard, where the man stayed separate from the family.

On Fridays, relatives would uplift his medications at the hospital to treat the lung condition. Last week, an x-ray showed that the man’s lungs were deteriorating rapidly, and would affect the functioning of other organs.

“They said the TB would come with different symptoms and breathing shortage as we get down. We understand this. Last week, we take him to get an x-ray. When we went, they take the x-ray and they show me that my brother don’t have one side of his lungs and the other side actually done. It was just a piece left and it would start affecting the heart,” the sister related.

Roger Martindale

On Sunday last, the man’s condition worsened and he was rushed to the hospital.

Another x-ray was conducted, showing that his pair of lungs was completely destroyed.

The man was admitted at the facility and his family was not allowed to see him.

Throughout his time in the hospital, he was transferred to the wing where Covid-19 patients were being treated.

On Tuesday, the man’s brother visited the hospital under normal circumstances and handed some tea to the security guard to take to Martindale.

But when the security guard went to deliver the item, he was informed that the man had died, and that was how the family became aware of their loved one’s demise.

“I don’t even know when he died. Nobody at the hospital can’t even come or call we on the phone. We leave a number and said anything happen to we brother, let them call…When my brother carry the tea and give the guard, the guard didn’t see Roger Martindale. When they find out, he’s in the mortuary,” the sister explained.

From all indications, the Covid-19 test was administered on Martindale after he died.

But his sister is questioning why they did not conduct the test before.

“They said the two lungs gone and he don’t have long more to live. He spend two days at Bartica Hospital. Why didn’t they take this coronavirus test? Why they wait till he die to do a corona test?”

The family also explained that persons who were in contact with the deceased were not placed in quarantine, fuelling their suspicion of the Covid-19 diagnosis.

Family members of previous Covid-19 fatalities have also come forward to vent their frustration with the way in which their loved ones died, questioning whether it was indeed the life-threatening disease that killed them or negligence.