THE wife of a former local government councillor died yesterday from a suspected case of the H1N1 flu virus (swine flu).
Julia Callendar, 33, was taken to the Point Fortin Area Hospital early yesterday and died around 4 a.m.
Callendar was the wife of Sean Bharat, who served as the People’s National Movement local government representative for Point Fortin/ Cap-de-Ville from 2003 to 2010.
Bharat’s brother, Peter Bharat, said Callendar died after being afflicted with the virus for approximately two weeks.
“She was a beautiful soul. She was dearly, dearly loved,” said Peter Bharat.
Peter Bharat, who also served as a local government councillor from 2010 to 2013, said his brother took Callendar to the doctor after she came down with a suspected case of H1N1.
He said an autopsy is expected to be done today at the San Fernando mortuary to confirm the cause of death.
Point Fortin Mayor Abdon Mason yesterday expressed his condolences to Bharat’s and Callendar’s family.
“I am deeply saddened by this news. I know how much of a support she was to Sean, who also lost his mother this year. Sean expressed to me that she was the rock that kept him standing after his mom’s illness and death. To hear of her passing now, it hits hard. This is such a loss,” said Mason.
The mayor said Bharat was expected to speak on a political platform last night in support of the candidate contesting Monday’s local government election.
Two weeks ago, three-year-old Pretoria Smith, of Claxton Bay, died after a suspected case of the H1N1 virus.
And three weeks ago the Health Ministry said there were four deaths between January to September 2019 (2019 flu season) and three deaths from October 2019 to date (2020 flu season).
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health stated that for this year to date there were some 2,738 reported suspected influenza cases and 16 confirmed influenza deaths.
In 2018, there were seven swine flu related deaths and 4,465 reported suspected influenza cases.
The Health Ministry said it is currently engaged in a robust influenza vaccination drive for the 2020 flu season (October 2019 to July 2020).