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Family rejects death attributed to COVID-19

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Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County

A family in Maryland County, southeast Liberia has rejected covid-19 as the cause of death for one of its members and is challenging local health authorities in the area to that effect.

Members of the Genekah family have rejected a report from the County Health Team of Maryland that their son, the late Joe Genekah tested positive of the virus prior to his death.

Narrating the family’s ordeal, the older sister of the deceased said, their late brother was first taken to the J.J. Dossen Referral hospital in Harper, Maryland County on June 1, 2021, and diagnosed with a different sickness rather than COVID-19.

She explained they took him to the hospital as a hydroseed patient with no signs and symptoms of Covid and that tests conducted by doctors and nurses proved negative of the virus.

“So he was operated on that morning as a hydroseed patient and both of us left the hospital the following day”, she narrated.

However, she said after some days, the family observed their brother’s health condition was still deteriorating because he was even experiencing swollen stomach so he was hurriedly rushed back to the hospital for the second time.

“When we got there, nurses again made a quick intervention, he was taken to a room for further attention. But while in the room, he started crying, complaining of his stomach, and after few hours, two of the nurses ran out to us and pronounced him dead.”

She said although the death was a serious setback for the family, the most critical and worrisome situation that got them enraged is for nurses to claim their brother died from Covid-19.

The family is insisting that the late Joe Genekah didn’t die from coronavirus as pronounced by health authorities in the County because prior to performing the surgery for hydroseed, he tested negative and wondered how did the test results change suddenly.

Family members are accusing health authorities in the county of the death of their son, which they blamed on carelessness during the second surgery performed on him that resulted in his death.

“Instead of them telling us the truth as health workers, they’re not because they have formulated lies that our son and brother died from Covid-19. We know it’s far from the truth because how can a person who has been tested negative, leave and come back just in one day and tested positive.”

The family is demanding a further explanation from health authorities in the county about the death of the late Joe Genekah.

However, the family’s reaction comes just a few days after Maryland County recorded 13 of its current 29 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

When this paper contacted the county health officer, Dr. Metheodius George, he promised to comment on the allegation later but said the current increment in cases is quite different from last year’s situation.

“So presently in Maryland County, we have confirmed 13 cases, initially it was three but for the past two to three days, 10 more cases have added. Out of the 13 confirmed cases, six are in the county treatment unit, three have been discharged, three are home-based, depending on their signs and symptoms, and one death”, Doctor George explained.

He noted the sudden increment in the cases of the virus is regrettable because they are coming from the community.

He lauded the county health team for its role played in tracking the recent cases of the COVID-19 as those patients were showing signs and symptoms most especially, respiratory symptoms.

Dr. George continued that most of the recent cases are people who were brought to the emergency unit of the hospital and they had interacted with family and community dwellers.

“I am worried, although the county has a rapid diagnostic test that can give a  result within 15 minutes and when a person is proven positive, their specimens will be taken to the defensive unit and also to the national lab for respiratory test. We still need to encourage our people not to panic but rather to observe all health protocols”, he advised. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/maryland-county-records-three-confirmed-cases/Editing by Jonathan Browne

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