Local Indian culture has suffered a blow because of the COVID-19 virus, following the death of a popular classical singer.
Jamie Heeralal, 42, a local Indian classical and film song singer succumbed to the virus around 9.30 am yesterday.
A close relative of Heeralal confirmed her passing and said she was known in the musical world by her maiden name Jamie Ramkissoon. She performed with the Melody Stars Indian Orchestra and freelanced with other bands.
The relative, who did not wish to be named, said, “She got sick ten days ago and was taken to the Chaguanas Health Centre and then she was warded at the Couva Hospital where her condition worsened. She texted her daughter Karuna, 23, several times and told her she missed and loved her. This is so hard that this young woman was taken away at such an early age.”
The relative added, “She was well loved by the community, she participated in several cultural events, including Ramleela. She loved her culture.”
Heeralal lived in Charlieville and was originally from Felicity where she would spend most of her time.
The relative said Heeralal’s only child, Karuna and husband Krishendath Heeralal were inconsolable. But fortunately, they did not contract the virus.
Surujdeo Mangaroo, the Public Relations Officer of the National Council for Indian Culture, also lamented Heeralal’s death due to COVID.
Mangaroo said he introduced Jamie twice on the stages of Divali Nagar and described her as an amazing talent.
Mangaroo said, “I am deeply saddened, a loss of any human life is distressing. Here we have a woman who truly loved her culture. She had a voice similar to that of Illa Arun. I am urging everyone to take the necessary measures, follow the rules to prevent contracting and spreading COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reported nine COVID deaths yesterday and 327 new cases.
It also noted that the number of patients in hospital had fallen from the all-time high of 494 on Monday to 459 yesterday.