Singapore—The Bangladeshi worker who has been classified as critically ill with Covid-19 will soon become a father, with his wife due to give birth back home in a matter of weeks. The straitstimes.com (ST), interviewed the woman recently via the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC), where she said that she last saw her husband from March to June of last year, when he went home. She expressed worry concerning her husband’s health.
When ST spoke to the worker’s wife, she wept, saying, “I hope for my husband to get better. He is going to be a father, so I want him to come back home. Please, just make sure he survives.”
The patient is one of five Bangladeshi workers who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Singapore, the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, a city in central China, and has gone on to infect over 82,000 people across the globe with a death toll approaching 3,000.
The 39-year-old man is the country’s Case 42, first reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on February 9. Like the two other reported cases on that day, he had no connection to any of the previously diagnosed patients, and neither had he travelled to China in the weeks leading up to his illness.
He has been receiving treatment at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID)’s intensive care unit for the past three weeks.
The Bangladeshi worker first showed symptoms of Covid-19 on February 1 and visited a GP clinic on February 3. Two days later he consulted at Changi General Hospital. By February 7, he was admitted at the hospital’s intensive care unit.
After he tested positive for the coronavirus the next day, he was moved to NCID.
The man’s wife chose not to give her name to ST as she was afraid of being stigmatized back home in their small village in Bangladesh.
The 39-year-old was the first of the five Bangladeshi workers to test positive for the coronavirus. The five patients are linked to a cluster at a worksite in Seletar and he had been living at The Leo dormitory in Kaki Bukit at the time of his diagnosis. ST reports that he has been working in Singapore for almost 10 years.
His wife told ST, “He had called to ask me to take care of myself, (to stay safe) from the virus and to be careful not to fall sick especially now that I am pregnant.”
She knew he had been feeling poorly but thought he was just down with a regular flu, learning that he had been diagnosed as positive for Covid-19 via a message from her husband’s cousin, who also works in the country.
The cousin told her that he had been admitted to the hospital and that his condition was critical.
The workers’s wife told ST “I was devastated as I could not believe what had happened. I still can’t believe this is happening.”
According to the Bangladesh High Commission, the man already had pneumonia, as well as kidney and respiratory problems, when he fell ill with the coronavirus.
His wife expressed thankfulness for the healthcare workers who have been updating her on her husband’s condition, as well as to the MWC, which sent a donation of S$10,000 to his family earlier this week, which had come from the organization, Yi-Ke Innovations (where the man works) and Mini-Environment Services (operator of The Leo).
The man’s medical care costs while he receives treatment will be shouldered by the Singaporean Government.
Singapore now has 96 cases on Covid-19, with 66 already discharged, having fully recovered from the coronavirus. Eight patients are in intensive care. There have been no fatalities, however. —/TISG
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