A Debe pundit and his wife, who remain hospitalised after testing positive for COVID-19, took all precautions to ensure that they did not spread the disease, a close relative says.

In an interview with Guardian Media, the relative said from the moment the pundit and his wife returned from abroad on Sunday night they went into self-quarantine.

“Nobody saw them, nobody visited them and they followed all protocols as directed. They were in complete isolation,” the relative said.

She added that neighbours, friends and family had no reason to be afraid of contracting the disease because the couple adhered to all Ministry of Health protocols.

She explained that even when they (family) went to drop bread for the couple, both of them insisted it be left outside so that there would be no contact with them. She said when the pundit began developing symptoms, he called for assistance and both them were rushed by ambulance to the San Fernando General Hospital before being taken to the Couva Health Facility.

The relative said on Wednesday, the pundit’s wife became distressed over reports that Hindus were continuing congregational worship although the pundit was hospitalised.

The Guardian had reported that a group of Hindu devotees had continued doing hour-long worship at Ramai Trace but this group of Hindus was in no way affiliated with the pundit who tested positive for COVID-19. His temple is not located at Ramai Trace.

“We closed the temple over a month now and there is no worship. The people who are doing worship are in no way affiliated with us,” the relative added.

As far as the couple’s condition was concerned, the relative said neither of them currently had any respiratory distress.

“He has a little fever and his condition remains the same. His wife was a little sicker today (Wednesday), fever and a little diarrhoea,” she added.

She said both they were comfortable and were pleased with the treatment they were getting in the hospital.

“The nurses are really friendly and for now they are doing well,” she added.

The pundit, who suffers from diabetes, is well respected in the community.

In its Thursday morning update, the Ministry of Health said 90 people had tested positive for COVID-19, five people have died and one person has since been discharged, while some 621 samples were submitted to CARPHA for testing.

Reporter:Radhica De Silva