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Woman’s appeal after brother dies of Covid-19 complications

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Ernest Thomas Cann passed away April 9 following complications from the coronavirus (Photograph supplies)
Ernest Thomas Cann passed away April 9 following complications from the coronavirus (Photograph supplies)
Ernest Thomas Cann passed away April 9 following complications from the coronavirus (Photograph supplies)

The sister of a well known taxi driver who died of complications after he developed Covid-19 yesterday appealed to the public to ignore bogus claims about the coronavirus.

Sharon Ward said: “If you don’t read or hear about Covid in the mainstream media, ignore it.”

She was speaking after she buried her brother Ernest Cann, 66, last week.

Mr Cann, nicknamed Captain and from Somerset, died of a heart attack on April 9.

Ms Ward said she had no tolerance for social media misinformation and ill-informed views.

Ms Ward said: “Covid is real. I have lived it.

“People can be so gullible – they read something on Facebook or TikTok, and believe it.

“I don’t pay that any mind. I’m not interested. Ernest did believe some of it.”

Ms Ward said Mr Cann had been reluctant to get vaccinated.

But she said: “Once he realised he had Covid-19, he said he would have got it but it was too late.”

Ms Ward condemned people who breached pandemic regulations for parties or social gatherings where regulations were ignored.

Ms Ward said: “It makes me feel angry, very angry and bitter.

“That tells me that they don’t care for their own lives or the lives of the loved ones they go home to – it is a selfish act.”

Ms Ward added: “People need to listen to the government broadcasts so they can become knowledgeable about how dangerous it is.

“They are out partying – there will be a lot of time for that. The sooner you stop that behaviour, the sooner we can get back to normal.”

Ms Ward branded a rally earlier this month to protest against Covid-19 regulations “pure ignorance.”

She said that she “fully endorsed what government is doing” but that she thought they relaxed stricter regulations “way too soon”.

Ms Ward added: “The minute things change, they lift the restrictions straight away. I don’t think we should be in Phase 2 yet.”

She said: “I have always been very Covid-conscious. I don’t want anyone around who doesn’t want to socially distance, wash their hands or wear masks.

“I am 65 and I’m high risk. I was fully vaccinated.”

Ms Ward said her brother was “breathless, delirious, pale and had no energy” and was admitted to hospital two days before he died.

Mr Cann found out he had tested positive for the coronavirus in an ambulance on the way to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

He was transferred to intensive care after admission as he needed assistance with his breathing.

Ms Ward said she spoke to her brother the day before his death and he sounded better.

She added a friend who worked at the hospital said Mr Cann was laughing and joking as late as 9pm on the day he died.

But a doctor phoned Ms Ward just after 11pm to break the news that Mr Cann had suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

Ms Ward said: “I was speechless. I had talked to him the day before.

“I didn’t call him on Friday deliberately because I thought it was important for him to have rest.

“The last I knew he had been resting comfortably and the next thing I received that dreaded call.

“We were very close, I am his next of kin.”

Ms Ward added that the Government failed to start contact tracing after Mr Cann was diagnosed with Covid-19.

She had to make his 19-year-old son, who had been in contact with Mr Cann, quarantine for 14 days and then get tested.

She also called her nephew’s boss to advise him to get his staff tested.

Ms Ward said: “I give a lot of credit to the Government in the way they are handling everything but the contact tracing never happened.”

She added she and other family members visited her nephew in quarantine and comforted him from a safe distance.

Ms Ward said: “It has affected all of us but it’s taken a bigger toll on him because he just lost his dad and had to quarantine alone in the house they lived in together.”

Mr Cann had four children, one of whom predeceased him.

Ms Ward said Mr Cann, who had only one leg, was a “jokester” who lived life to the fullest.

She added: “He was full of life. He used to tease kids in the neighbourhood – he had one leg he and he would chase them with his sticks.

“He never wore a prosthetic leg. He always said he lost his leg due to disobedience – he drove up a one-way street – so he said he had to live with the consequences.

“It didn’t stop him from living life.”

Ms Ward said Mr Cann showed tourists the well-known beauty spots in his cab, but also took them to his backyard to meet family and friends.

She added: “Lots of tourists came and only asked for him.

“He was an ambassador for the island. They asked for the Captain.

“He had this white hat along with his white shoes and white shades to go with it that he wore every day.

“He was decked out all the time and he cleaned his taxi two or three times a day.”

Ms Ward appealed to the public to be patient and help the island to return to normal.

She said: “You got to do what you got to do. It is tiring, I miss the freedom but at the same time, it’s a means to an end.”

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Published May 10, 2021 at 8:23 am (Updated May 10, 2021 at 8:23 am)

Woman’s appeal after brother dies of Covid-19 complications

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