This past Friday and Saturday have seen the passing of two Belizean men. Both persons were diagnosed with Covid-19. 52-year-old Luis Romero was diagnosed prior to his death while 63-year-old Carlos Peralta was not diagnosed until after his passing. The death of Peralta, who resided in Orange Walk Town has caused concerns within a church community. Here is Reporter Alisha Valentine with the full story.
Alisha Valentine, Love FM News: Two Belizean men who tested positive for COVID-19 lost their lives within the last forty eight house this past weekend. The death of 52-year-old Louis Romero came on Friday August 14th at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. On the following day 63-year-old Carlos Peralta succumbed to his heart conditions but it wasn’t until the post mortem that health officials found that Perlata was positive for COVID-19. While the Peralta family declined an interview our newsroom learned that Romero’s family is dissatisfied with the response and protocols at the Ministry of Health.
Shemari Romero, Daughter: “It started with my brother right so he was the one that since he was going to the club on certain one in one out instances on the weekends he was the one that started off with the symptoms and everything and he wanted to get tested but we called Thursday I think it was August 6th- we called because I messaged them for him and then he called and then the spoke to him about it and he said that they just pre-screened him over the phone said if he goes into the clinic they will just give him meds and call it that because right now a bad flu is going around.”
Alisha Valentine, Love FM News: While the family of Luis Romeo is in morning they’re also concerned for two other relatives who have tested positive for the virus one of them is currently intubated at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. According to Shemari Romero, the daughter of the deceased, they have an idea of how her relatives contracted the virus.
Alisha Valentine, Love FM News: Has the Ministry determined a point of contact as yet as to how they contracted it ?
Shemari Romero, Daughter: “Well they would more than likely my brother so they are the ones that live with him so that’s the connection right there. On Friday the person, one of the Deejays around he came out and said that he was positive so that was like maybe the link to my brother that you know that he was close to that person and then he was still trying to find someone and then he found someone on Saturday I guess he has some link to someone who said okay they would test him either Sunday or Monday. Now we saw on Facebook that they weren’t doing anything on Sunday so we were just waiting until Monday. Monday he got his test done.”
Reporter: The grieving family has begun a petition to push the Government of Belize to do more before more lives are lost.
Shemari Romero, Daughter: “The petition is geared toward everyone demanding better from the Government of Belize and the Ministry of Health so that they could change the current protocol because right now they’re just testing people if they have been in contact with someone who is positive; that will not help the situation. Right now we need people to know and a lot of times they tell us wear your mask, do your part and so what we want to demand from them is for them to do their part. They have the voices and they have the avenue to make all the changes, they need to listen to the people. We’re not the first family that has this issue we’ve seen countless people on Facebook saying that they were denied to get tested so I mean don’t they have someone looking into these things ? Who can we complain to ? So the best way we saw fit was to do this petition especially for the high risk people are they asking the pertinent questions for if the people are elderly. if they have underlying symptoms, are they just going Oh well what’s your social, go to the clinic, check you up, what are they doing exactly just going there and swabbing you that’s it? Are they not assessing this person or the people getting swabbed for underlying issues if they’re upset, if they have lung issues, if they’re wheezing, coughing, what are they doing.”
Alisha Valentine, Love FM News: In the case of Peralta his passing has caused a degree of panic in the north. Prior to being tested positive for COVID-19 peralta attend mass at La Inmaculada Parish last Wednesday. The parish has closed down to sanitized and has told it’s members who attended church last Wednesday to stay home and quarantine. To date Belize has recorded four deaths related to COVID-19; Hubert Pipersburgh died on April 5th and Conrad Everette died on April 10th.