The family of a man who died mysteriously after returning to the island from New York on March 16 said its late loved one did not show any clear symptom of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), adding that the family adhered to stipulations from the relevant authorities.
Damion Taylor, a businessman and computer technician from Jericho district in Linstead, St. Catherine, died at home minutes after 7 o’clock on Saturday morning, April 4.
Since then, photos of the deceased have been widely circulated throughout Linstead. Rumors also have been swirling that Damion died of COVID-19, and that he neglected Government’s repeated appeals for people who returned to the island after March 18 to report to the health ministry.
Gawayne Taylor, brother of the deceased, told The Beacon that there was no need for Damion to report to the ministry because he arrived on the island on March 16 – not after the 18th.
“I picked my brother up from the Norman Manley International Airport with my personal car. He came down wearing a mask, gloves and a hand sanitizer attach to is pants loop,” Gawayne said, adding that Damion self-quarantined.
“After we got home from the airport, my brother went into self-quarantine where he remained for two weeks which ended last Monday… We were given a check list to check off everyday for the 14 days where we had to record our temperature and make a report of any abnormalities,” he explained.
Gawayne further stated that, a day after the self-quarantine period ended on Monday, March 30, his brother, who struggled with ‘chronic sinus’, started to complain about dizziness.
“My brother started complaining of dizziness which is normally the case because of him having what I would call chronic sinus. I talked to him everyday since he came back from overseas. He was 100 percent everyday up until Tuesday where he started complaining of his head feeling dizzy. He was eating and drinking fine,” Gawayne continued.
“My brother was ‘not’ showing any signs or experiencing any of the broad symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. On the morning of his passing, he and I were there until his last. My family and I are not uneducated or foolish people. If my brother had or was showing signs of the virus, best believe that we would have reported it for his safety/health as well as ours! My brother never had no sickness or complications known to us. He was healthy minus him having sinus. His passing is just a mystery to us,” Gawayne told The Beacon.
He noted that his sibling was never tested for COVID-19. “My brother was not tested for the virus, but I am very sure as can be that he did not pass because of this. I am not troubled of the thought of the virus and him being infected… We have absolutely no fear of him having any COVID-19.”
Gawayne, in the meantime, said personnel from the Ministry of Health visited the family subsequent to Damion’s death.
He added that, on the date of death, bereaved relatives and people who visited Damion were tested at hospital for COVID-19, and are awaiting the results.
“We all have to be self-quarantined for 14 days where we are going to be retested again,” Gawayne further said via telephone. He, along with other relatives, is now awaiting the results of a post mortem to determine what killed Damion, whose corpse was removed from Linstead to Kingston this morning.
By Horace Mills, Journalist (B.A degree in Media and Communications; CARIMAC, University of the West Indies)
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