As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, two sisters died within a week of each other at the Couva Hospital.

The women have been identified as Georgette and Karen Rawlins.

In a post to social media on Wednesday morning, a relative revealed the women died from COVID-related illnesses.

“We regret to inform all our friends and family that our two older sisters Georgette Rawlins and Karen Rawlins succumbed to COVID related illnesses. We thank you for all the well wishes and condolences. We ask that everyone just keep us in your prayers,” the relative posted.

The University of the West Indies Department of Creative and Festival Arts also expressed condolences on the deaths of the two sisters, describing Georgette as the consummate creative.

“The DCFA joins in with the University Community in expressing our deepest condolences to the Rawlins family on the untimely passing of Georgette and her sister Karen.”

DCFA said Georgette worked with the Arts in Action team then with DCFA as a full-time staff member before moving on to her substantive post at the UWI’s Admissions office.

Another social media user posted about the women’s death on Tuesday.

She said the women died within a week of each other. And as she expressed pain over their deaths and condolences to the family, she also sought to warn the public about not taking the virus seriously. 

 “The deaths you see reported every day are real people. People with families. They aren’t just numbers. 

Please, for heaven’s sake, take the precautions seriously,” the woman wrote. “This is not a joke, a scam or a game. Nobody is trying to “fight you down”. The government isn’t wicked for implementing measures to protect you.”

Guardian Media has reached out to relatives of the women and the chief executive officer of the North Central Regional Health Authority, Davlin Thomas for comment.

This is a developing story and it will be updated as more information becomes available.

Reporter: Sharlene Rampersad