A Chaguanas family is mourning the loss of two relatives who died from covid 19 within days of each other.
Jennifer Mahadeo, a page planner for Newsday, died on Friday morning after she complained of having trouble breathing.
Mahadeo, 41, was assigned to Newsday's El Socorro office, not the editorial department in Port of Spain, which houses reporters and editors.
She had been at home for several days.
Her father Deonarine Mahadeo, 76, tested positive for the virus last Thursday and died on Tuesday.
This is the second time in less than a week that two family members have died from the virus days apart. A Siparia man Mahindra Nigel, 38, died of it on Wednesday afternoon, and his father Premnath Ramkalawan, 66, died on Thursday morning.
Newsday spoke to Mahadeo's nephew Jonathan Mahadeo on Friday afternoon. He said his aunt complained of difficulties breathing on Sunday and was taken to the Chaguanas Health Centre, where she was given medication and told to return home, despite her family's concern.
"I asked the doctors why they don't put her on a ventilator to help her breathing, but they said they tested the air levels in her blood and they said it was good, so that's why they didn't bother to put her on a ventilator.
"From there we went home and she got worse so we called a private doctor, who prescribed medication, which we gave to her.
"She started to feel a little better and ate a little bit. Then Thursday night she took a turn for the worse – she started gasping for breath – and we called the ambulance.
"When we spoke to the operator, she took one deep breath and passed out, so I asked them, 'Where is the ambulance?'
"So the operator instructed us on how to do CPR. We did it and the ambulance came about a half an hour after and by that time, she was already gone."
Mahadeo said the family was shocked and mourning his aunt, who leaves behind a six-year-old daughter.
Mahadeo said the family has been tested for the virus and are awaiting results. They did not have any symptoms up to Friday afternoon.
Asked his thoughts on the increase in covid19 cases and deaths over the past two weeks, Mahadeo said the increase in infections highlighted the need for the public to act responsibly. He also called for more in-depth enquiries into the deaths of some covid19 patients.
"If there is some way to verify if there is a covid death, that would be helpful to the people who have to endure this pain of having family members dying.
"I think it's a good way to start, instead of worrying about it being a covid19 death. That way the family can have a proper burial, instead of a cremation."
Newsday also spoke to former advertising manager at the Newsday Gail Balwant-Khan, who described Mahadeo as a trusted friend and colleague and said she worked with Mahadeo since the beginning of her career with the paper
"Jennifer, for me, outside of being a colleague, was a friend to everyone who ever met her. She was a person I could call on for anything. Any member of staff could call on her for help.
"And Newsday didn't just lose a staff member it lost a pillar.'
Balwant-Khan sent condolences to the family.