Mourning the death of his 38-year-old son from covid19, a father has pleaded with the public to religiously follow all the public health regulations.
"Always sanitise. Sanitise your house too. If you have to buy a spray can and wet it down every day, do it," said Kenneth "Barks" Singh, 67. "It may be a bit costly, but in the end, it will help. It is not easy to lose a life.
"Do not take off your mask. Keep away from people. Do not go anywhere if you do not have to go."
Singh’s son Damian, a farmer, died early on Sunday at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH).
Singh and his wife, Lilly Liloutie, 69, will not be able to attend their son’s funeral, as they are hospitalised with the virus. Another adult son, Marcus, who lives with them, is in home quarantine in Tableland. He, too, tested positive.
They live on the top floor of a two-storey house. Singh's daughter and her husband live downstairs and were keeping their distance from the rest of the family. He said as far as he knows, the couple do not have the virus.
Singh, the father of four, spoke to Newsday by phone from the SFGH on Monday.
Damian was the father of one and planting crops like baigan and cabbage.
Another son, Singh said, is organising the funeral, tentatively set for Tuesday, followed by a burial at the Tableland public cemetery under Christian rites.
Singh praised the staff at the hospital, saying they did their best to save Damian's life.
"They really tried with him. His lungs had collapsed. His kidney failed. They tried hard."
He said his wife, who like him has been in hospital for about a week, knows their son is dead.
"We cannot go to the funeral. We cannot see the body or anything," he said. "I saw Damian when I came to the hospital. When I saw him, I realised it was water more than flour (meaning his son’s condition was critical)."
Singh recalled that Damian began coughing at home about two weeks ago. Initially, he believed he had a "normal" virus". But a test at the Princes Town district heath facility found he had covid19.
"He was coughing hard at home, and we were inhaling everything.
"Only when we started to get other symptoms, we realised it was covid. One by one, we got it," Singh said.