Mahdia family drinks poisonous substance as ‘cure’ for COVID-19

…1 dead, 3 treated, discharged

Four members of a Mahdia family (Region Eight, Potaro-Siparuni) were recently hospitalised after they had consumed a poisonous substance which they believed to be a cure for COVID-19.
One of the family members, Muriel Edwards, 43, has since succumbed, while the other three have been discharged from the hospital.
Reports indicate that a male relative had died on August 10, and the family believed that it was as a result of COVID-19. As such, they had, on August 13 between 08:30 and 10:47h, consumed a traditional Indigenous substance which they hoped would prevent them from contracting the disease.
Police on Tuesday evening said that enquiries disclosed that the juice from a vine, which is usually extracted and used to poison fish and which is used in small quantity mixed with water for medicinal purposes to treat tuberculosis and high blood pressure, was consumed by the family.
The four relatives fell sick, and were taken to the Mahdia Public Hospital but Edwards was pronounced dead on arrival.
When contacted, Regional Executive Officer (REO) Peter Ramotar confirmed that the incident had occurred and he explained that the first family member who died had subsequently tested negative for COVID-19.
“It’s a tradition with the local Indigenous People where they will resort to herbal treatment, and the person that died might have overdosed,” the REO said.
A post-mortem was conducted on Tuesday and the cause of death is ruled inconclusive.
Samples were taken and dispatched to the lab for further testing.