Refusals to test for the Coronavirus has proven to be a hazardous and sometime fatal practice as the country’s confirmed cases of infection steadily rises.
Recently a Western Michigan University senior died over the weekend due to complications of the virus after reportedly being denied three times for testing even though he was showing signs of key symptoms. Bassey Offiong, 25, was due to graduate this spring with a chemical engineering degree who wanted to start an organic makeup line with Loreal according to his sister Asari Offiong.
“He’s just someone who thinks so big,” she said.
Asari, who said she last saw her brother a week prior, said one health care practitioner diagnosed him as having bronchitis. Offiong was eventually hospitalized at Beaumont in Royal Oak and was hooked up to a ventilator in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
In Brooklyn, New York a 30 year old social studies teacher, Rana Zoe Mungin, is currently on life support after she was allegedly denied a test despite her being rushed to the hospital three times while showing worsening symptoms.On March 15, Rana started having fever, shortness of breath, and severe headache, her sister Mia Mungin said in an interview.
“They gave her albuterol for asthma and gave her a shot of Toradol for her headache,” but she wasn’t tested for COVID-19.
After three days have passed her shortness of breath continued but she refused to go to the hospital. On March 19, she had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance where she was only given a nebulizer treatment. One of the attendants insisted that her lungs are clear and that she is just having a panic attack. On her second time to the emergency room Mia recounts a doctor telling them that Rana’s chest was clear and they did not have enough tests. The following visit resulted in Rana being placed on a ventilator, however, the family has not been allowed access to see her.
The number of cases similar to these are on the rise as testing materials, healthcare resources, and information on the virus is limited. President Trump has enacted the Defense Production Act which requires corporations to cooperate with relief efforts in case of natural disasters such as this, today a Naval hospital ship docked in New York to offer support in the epicenter of this pandemic in the U.S. In increased efforts to stall the spread of the virus, states greatly impacted have enacted strict travel restrictions with the threat of jail time and a hefty fee for any violators. Many of these states top officials remain critical of the lack of support from the federal government in sending relief openly calling out the White House for its hesitation in providing crucial medical support in the hardest hit areas.