As the country recorded an alarming seven new Covid-19 deaths yesterday, among them was a young medical doctor.
Dr Shival Sieunarine, 33, died in the Intensive Care Unit of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, where he had been taken for treatment after falling severely ill.
Sieunarine’s death occurred on the worst day to date in terms of Covid-19 numbers.
Seven deaths were recorded yesterday, the second time the country has recorded that many deaths in a single day.
A record 402 new cases were also reported by the Ministry of Health.
North Central Regional Health Authority chief executive Davlin Thomas confirmed the doctor’s death to the Sunday Express.
Sieunarine was not a member of staff at the EWMSC, Thomas said, but worked under the North West Regional Health Authority.
“He worked in another region, but we were caring for him,” Thomas said. “He came in very, very ill.”
The doctor was said to have rapidly deteriorated after experiencing respiratory distress.
Thomas said he could not divulge any further information, but said Sieunarine’s death is a reminder that Covid-19 is real and can affect anyone.
He said doctors are just as susceptible to Covid-19 and at risk of contracting and dying from the virus.
“We are in community spread. There is a huge community spread which is why we are under lockdown. People who work in hospitals are the same as people who work in other industries. They live in the community. And the community spread has expanded to the stage where the numbers are what they are now.”
Thomas pleaded with the public to follow the Covid-19 regulations and continue to wear their masks and social distance.
“That is critical. I know it sounds like rhetoric, but this is the reality. People have to follow the regulations. Stay off the roads. This is real. Who didn’t know it was real before, you know now,” he said.
He lauded health workers who continue to work dutifully.
“They are defending the population against the monster out there,” Thomas said.
Rest-in-peace messages poured in for the young doctor yesterday, as many took to social media to express their sadness at losing a health worker.
Some said they had studied with Sieunarine at The University of the West Indies and described him as kind, dedicated and hard-working.
Princes Town MP Barry Padarath was among those sending condolences.
“Thank You Dr Shival Sieunarine for your patriotism and humanity,” Padarath posted.
He called for healthcare workers who died of Covid-19 to be posthumously awarded for their selfless service.
“Some may agree, others may not, I believe that all healthcare or frontline workers who risk their lives to save others and become a terminal victim of Covid-19 themselves should be bestowed with the highest national award in our land (posthumously). It does not get more selfless, valiant and braver than this,” he said.