Investigation launched into death of cop with chickenpox

Rockliff Cozier

A team from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation/Pan-American Health Organisation (WHO/PAHO) has been assembled to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of a policeman who was diagnosed with chickenpox, had received two vaccines for the condition, and also consumed filaria pills.

Rockliff Cozier of Supply, East Bank Demerara (EBD) died on Tuesday at around 18:15hrs at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

Police said the officer, who was infected with chickenpox, had at around 08:30hrs on the day in question, received two injections for the condition. Then at around 14:30hrs, he consumed pills that are being distribution in the anti-filaria campaign.

However, at about 18:00hrs, the policeman collapsed while in a barrack room and was  rushed to the GPHC in an unconscious state. He was placed in intubation, during which he had a relapse, suffered two seizures and subsequently passed away.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, in weighing in on the situation, explained that the authorities have to ascertain the facts before making a pronouncement.

Dr Frank Anthony, Minister of Health

“We heard that two vaccines were given this person and at the same time, he also took two filaria tablets. I don’t know whether that is indeed so but we will have to investigate it.
As we speak, we have put together a team from the Ministry of Health and WHO/PAHO to pull all the documents relating to this incident from the health centre where he went and to launch that investigation,” he explained.

The Health Minister also noted that persons are not supposed to have any adverse effects from taking the filaria pills, and posited that the policeman’s death is “purely coincidental”.

“But nevertheless, we have to allow this investigation to take its course and the experts review it,” he stated.