Widow of New York-based Jamaican man rumoured to have died from COVID-19 hits back

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Widow of New York-based Jamaican man rumoured to have died from COVID-19 hits back

(JAMAICA GLEANER) – Naomi Thompson-Henry boiled with anger as she condemned as malicious a video that has emerged on social media linking her late husband’s death to COVID-19 and potentially putting their lives at risk.

In the five-minute video, the voice of a woman claiming to be a family member of the deceased, Linton Henry, accuses a Clarendon family of smuggling his body into the country after he died in New York allegedly from complications of the novel coronavirus infection. The video revealed sensitive family details as well as the date and site of the funeral.

Thompson Town erupted in uproar as some residents protested the hearse entering their community to transport Henry’s body.

“I heard that some people were saying that they were going to block the road in Thompson Town, but I am not sure of that,” Thompson-Henry said.

“ … For this to go out into the whole world and people to be saying so many things about you over the media, it set people to come down and attack you. You have yuh house and people will come up here come and throw stone,” she told The Gleaner.

Thompson-Henry dubbed the allegations “lies, all lies”.

According to the widow, her 76-year-old late husband, who was employed to a supermarket as a cart-retrieval worker, got sick after getting wet while at work on March 14. After contracting a cold, Henry died exactly a week later. His dying wish was to be buried in his homeland.

Thompson-Henry’s hopes of staging a fitting farewell for her husband of 22 years were dashed not only because of a government ban on mass gatherings, but on account of stigma and fear. Social-distancing and a host of legislative measures have been imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The family of Linton Henry hosted a private burial at the family plot yesterday.

Although the service was private, lawmen attached to the Mocho Police Station escorted the hearse to the house and stayed for the duration of the service to ensure that no disruptions were caused.

Councillor of the Thompson Town division, Collin Henry, said that he intervened in the matter.

“I called the Clarendon Health Department and they outlined to me the protocols and stipulation they have given the funeral home and what they must adhere to. I assured the residents this morning that police will escort the body and see to it that everything is done according to protocols, so it kinda quelled everything,” Henry said.

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