Francis Johnson and his wife Charyl Griffith outside the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday after trying to seek answers about his mother who was quarantined after coming into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19

KEVON [email protected]

When 86-year-old May Johnson turned up at the San Fernando General Hospital on March 7, doctors found that she had stroke symptoms.

Two weeks later, her family cannot see her as medical staff says she is in quarantine at the facility after secondary contact with a COVID-19 case. Johnson’s family showed up at the hospital yesterday, hoping to get some answers about her medical condition.

Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, Johnson’s son, Francis Johnson, said she fell ill at her home in St Mary’s Village, Moruga, so they took her to the Princes Town District Health Facility.

They thought she fell sick because she suffers from hypertension and diabetes. A doctor ordered her transfer to the hospital because of her condition. After a scan showed symptoms of a stroke, he said medics inserted a nasogastric tube into her lungs instead of her stomach, resulting in breathing problems. “To this day, we are having an issue where she is isolated. They are saying that she is in quarantine. The CMO’s office called on the 15th and gave up this information that she had a second-hand transmission with a COVID-19 patient. We are not getting any other information. We saw the nurses wearing full PPE to enter the room she is in to give her clothing we brought,” Francis said.He said even the nurses were concerned when they learned what happened. Noting that studies show that elderly COVID-19 patients with comorbidities are more susceptible to this illness, Francis said the hospital has not even tested his mother. “We asked the doctor if they would test, but he said that it was not necessary. We are trying to figure out what he means by that because she had second-hand contact with someone. Everyone who was around the area should get tested to rule out COVID-19.” Given that elderly COVID-19 patients with chronic diseases are more likely to be admitted to the ICU with a higher mortality rate, he questions why his mother was even at the hospital instead of a COVID-19 facility. He claimed the hospital was negligent in exposing his mother to the virus, especially as Johnson is an amputee who cannot walk. He said screening mechanisms should be in place to ensure anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 do not share the same space as other patients. Guardian Media reached out to the SWRHA and was awaiting a response up to press time.