*My wife did not die of COVID-19 and she was not pregnant
*Health officials mum on the matter
Contrasting findings on the death of a Ramotswa woman last week have cast doubt on the credibility of the Covid-19 testing system as the deceased’s family question the clinical conclusions.
The body of Sennye Mooketsi was buried in haste at a Ramotswa cemetery last Wednesday amid scenes of panic and desperation- at the instruction of health officials who declared that her death was Covid-19 related.
The 48-year-old Mooketsi entered records as another statistic of the deadly virus in the week that Botswana registered its 20th fatality.
The family however became suspicious when the test results also indicated that Mooketsi was pregnant when she died. Their anxiety further mounted when about 40 family members and neighbours who had been in contact with the deceased tested negative of Covid-19 except for three children who have since been placed under isolation.
The aggrieved family who allege they were only informed of the Covid-19 results on the day they buried the corpse, have labelled as bogus, irresponsible, and blatant lies by Government, information that Mooketsi died whilst pregnant as a result of COVID-19 and are determined to take legal action.
Mooketsi succumbed to a short illness on September 29th at Bamalete Lutheran Hospital with the cause of death noted as a chronic cardiac failure due to hypertension. Unbeknown to the family her death was announced to the world as a COVID-19 statistic.
The deceased’s distraught husband, Lenyatso Mooketsi, 50, says his family was being labeled as dishonest by villagers who had flocked their home to support them.
He describes the scene as humiliating when they brought his wife’s corpse for the night vigil.
“We were met by health officials at the gate when we arrived with my wife’s corpse. They told us that we had to bury her immediately and that we should not even get inside the yard with her body. At that time people who had thronged our yard were already on their feet to welcome the corpse. They caused quite a scene,” the grieving husband said.
When narrating the chronicle of events preceding Mooketsi’s death, Lenyatso says his wife experienced difficulty in breathing on the 29th of September. He says they rushed her to the hospital where she died just two hours after arrival.
“They did not tell us that they were testing her for anything let alone pregnancy. Look, it had been five years since my wife’s menopause. She was not pregnant. She couldn’t have been,” he said.
The aggrieved husband says they collected his wife’s body from the hospital morgue on the 3rd of October.
“The Covid-19 results they showed us indicate that she was tested on the day she died and results were released on 3rd October, the day we took her body from the hospital. They did not let us know of the results until the 7th after we had so much contact with her. Had we been informed we would have known how to handle her body. We were left exposed because of their inadequacies,” he said.
The sister to the deceased, Joyce Mhaladi, who had accompanied Mooketsi’s husband to the hospital on the fateful day suggests there were no tests conducted on her sister as she was present the entire time.
“She asked me to give her water right before she passed. She was very cold when I touched her. On our way to the hospital it was like she had lost her memory, she kept asking us weird questions,” she explains.
According to Mhaladi, she is displeased with the way the announcement was made. She says their family’s name has been dragged through the mud and defamed. She wants justice for her dead sister’s name, and is adamant her sister couldn’t have been pregnant.
District Health Management official, Violet Baruti, was quoted in a government publication confirming that Mooketsi died whilst pregnant, but she was reluctant to field questions this week when probed by this publication to shed information on their clinical findings.
Ministry of Health Public Relations Officer, Doreen Motshegwa, would also not shed any light on Mooketsi’s death as she said her office was yet to receive comprehensive information on the matter.
Presidential Taskforce Deputy Coordinator, Professor Mosepele Mosepele, was also at pains to discuss the issue and hung up the phone when quizzed on the apparent blunder