A 38-year-old popular drag racer is the country’s latest COVID-19 fatality – its fifth.
Family members last evening confirmed that Deryck Jaisingh, more popularly known by fellow drag racers as ‘Mad Dog’, passed away in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Kaieteur News was told that the businessman, who has an established trucking service located at Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara, and also lives in the village, went to GPHC last Tuesday after being refused by a private hospital. He had been experiencing breathing problems.
He was reportedly admitted the same day, and tested, but the family members did not know until Thursday that he was positive with the coronavirus. He got progressively worse and died last evening just after 19:00hrs in the ICU.
But it was the story that is coming out that is angering his friends and family.
Kaieteur News was told that Jaisingh called the COVID-19 hotline several times begging for tests to be conducted. He had been displaying symptoms. However, no one came, although he was promised.
It appears one man who was pushing to have the tests done was a doctor.
He leaves to mourn a number of children and employees.
The case would raise serious questions over the follow-up protocols of the hotlines.
There were supposed to be follow-up calls to persons who would have reached out.
Jaisingh’s trucks and heavy equipment have been working in the gold and bauxite sector, the newspaper learnt. His death threw the local racing fraternity into mourning.
The Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMR&SC) in a Facebook post said it is deeply saddened at the news of the passing of Jaisingh.
“The club and the entire motor racing fraternity join his family and friends in the mourning of his passing which has rocked the sport. He was the reigning unlimited class drag racing champion with his Toyota Supra. He will be missed by members of the racing fraternity and race fans all around.”
Jaisingh, the club said, was described by those who know him as a good and kind-hearted individual.
“The GMR&SC wishes that his family will get the strength to get through this tough situation.”
Jaisingh was one of eight individuals who were transferred to the hospital’s ICU yesterday.
Health authorities yesterday too confirmed 31 cases of the Coronavirus. The deaths are now at five.
During her update to the nation yesterday afternoon, Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, disclosed that from February 26th to April 6th, the total number of persons who have been tested has moved to 115, of whom 31 are positive, 84 are negative and one inconclusive test— which later proved negative after 14 days of isolation.
There are 23 individuals in institutional isolation who are disseminated across Regions One, Two, Three, Four, Five and Seven, and 35 in institutional quarantine by the Ministry of Public Health. With regard to the regional breakdown of the latter, the Health Minister stated that there are ten persons in Region Three, 22 in Region Four and three in Region Six.
Lawrence was keen to note that three family members of the first index case, all of whom tested positive, had two post-isolation tests conducted on them. With satisfaction, she added that tests for each of the family members came back negative, clearing them as vectors of the disease.
Furthermore, the Health Minister disclosed that eight cases associated with Guyana’s first case have recovered after isolation.
Meanwhile, calls to the COVID-29 hotline totaled 1, 495 as of yesterday. These include calls from Regions Three, Four and Ten.
The Health Minister said that “I wish to state that all of the regions are in receipt of the various types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In Region Three, I wish to acknowledge the efforts of a private citizen for Wakenaam, Victor Wong, who is offering his services to sanitize the Sans Souci Police Station and the Wakenaam Cottage Hospital. Bravo to you, sir!”
Lawrence added, “Also in the East Berbice where the good spirited citizens are volunteering to sanitize the community. The Ministry of Public Health is appreciative of all of your efforts and we salute you.”
Once again, the Minister stressed the need for Guyanese to protect themselves and to follow the guidelines from the Health Institution.
“You are fully aware that COVID-19 does not choose whom it may affect. You will not escape the Coronavirus disease if you are laid back, so help us to help you in this fight,” she appealed.
She posited that people may not comprehend the seriousness of the Coronavirus, while noting that citizens are still congregating, even though a 6pm to 6am curfew has been established.
“Your cooperation is critical. I am begging you, stay at home,” Minister Lawrence emphasized.
To strengthen the capacity of surveillance for early identification of cases, the Ministry of Public Health will launch an app that will provide individuals with the opportunity of reporting symptoms. The Health Minister asked for citizens to stay tuned for the launch of that application.
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