A community mourns after Giselle Dariele Chetty, daughter of Erwin and Parusha Chetty, succumbed to Swine Flu last Friday after a brief illness. Hundreds of mourners attended the child’s funeral on Monday.
Giselle’s father Erwin Chetty (left) and mother Parusha Chetty (seated) are comforted by ANC Comrade Claudelle Chetty.Finance MEC Ravi Pillay delivered a message of condolences from the ANC and Premier Zikalala
This comes after the death of nine-year-old Giselle Dariele Chetty who succumbed to the virus last Friday. Deccan Road Primary School, where Giselle was a Grade 3 learner, has also confirmed that a third learner has been admitted to hospital.
Naidoo, who has treated at least 20 patients with Swine Flu over his 46 years in practice, said that every precaution needs to be taken regarding the common flu.
“If a child or adult is sick, I am urging them to go the doctor immediately and to start treatment. If Swine Flu is suspected, a test can be conducted but treatment must be started immediately. I am also appealing to my experienced colleagues that they should treat every patient with a high index suspicion. If a healthy patient complains that they are not well and have symptoms that are worsening, then they must seek medical attention by going to a doctor or the hospital,” said Naidoo.
Giselle, the daughter of Ward 28 ANC Councillor Candidate Parusha Chetty, was laid to rest on Monday while her two-year-old brother was discharged from Northdale Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
At the funeral, lines of family, friends, fellow learners, teachers and ANC officials paid tribute to her in speeches and recitals.
MEC for Treasury, Ravi Pillay, said that he extends his support and condolences to the family during their time of bereavement. “There are no words that can make the family feel better during this time. We are here to support the family as bidding farewell is never easy. A young citizen of the county has passed and on behalf of Premier Sihle Zikalala, we share your pain,” said Pillay.
Prashanti Naidoo, also a learner at Deccan Road Primary, said that she had lost her best friend and sister. “I knew Giselle since 2014 when we were friends in Merryland Pre-School and also travelled together to school with my mother. School days will no longer be the same without her. We have lost a precious and priceless gem as God has gained an angel,” said Prashanti.
School Governing Body Chairperson, Rumen Maistry, said that the school had taken every measure to ensure that learners’ well-beings were accounted for. “We were informed by the parent of the other learner that the child was admitted to hospital as a result of Swine Flu last Thursday. When we went to Giselle’s home after her passing on Friday, we were not aware of the cause of her death until her father confirmed a case of Swine Flu with us,” said Maistry.
He added that a circular informing parents of the outbreak and the necessary measures taken had been released by the school and classes will continue as normal.
“We have released a circular that informs parents of the symptoms of Swine Flu and that should they present with the symptoms, they must take the necessary precautions. The learner must be kept at home and medical attention must be sought. We have released the circular after liaison with two medical specialist physicians, the Department of Health and the Department of Education. This would enable us to take further decisions in the interest and well-being of all learners,” said Maistry. The school also embarked on a programme to disinfect the property to safeguard learners and educators.
Rachel Soobiah, ANC PR councillor and spokesperson for the family, said that Parusha is devastated by her child’s death. “She has not been able to deal with her daughter’s death as she has been caring for her two-year-old son who was also admitted to hospital after he presented with fever.
“On July 15, Parusha celebrated her daughter’s ninth birthday and then she passed on. So it has been extremely difficult for her. Last Wednesday she was not well and on Thursday her father had taken her to the doctor where she was given medication and administered an injection. On Friday at around 11am, she had woken up and was still weak. She had a meal and then when her father arrived at their home, he was informed by her grandmother that she was unresponsive. Her father rushed her to the hospital but she had already passed on,” said Soobiah. Soobiah thanked the community for their support during this time.
KZN MEC for Education, Kwazi Mshengu, urged parents in an official video to take the necessary precautions should their children present with flu symptoms that persist.
“We cannot confirm if it is indeed the H1N1 virus. We are working with the Department of Health to find out what type of flu we are dealing with. When parents see that learners are showing any form of flu, they must immediately take them to the doctors to eliminate any form of fatalities,” said Mshengu.
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