It’s uncertain when the Covid-19 pandemic will finally cease but it’s clear that there’s still a lot to do even after the Movement Control Order is lifted. Although many people are adhering to the government’s order to stay put and practice social distancing, some are still not taking the pandemic as seriously as they should especially with the number of deaths. We sulk as the death toll increases and rejoice when they aren’t any new ones but it’s important to remember that the death toll isn’t simply a statistic.
There are faces behind them, people who have been affected, families who have lost loved ones to the Coronavirus. One example of this would be Aiza Syafinaz Shahak, 34, who recently lost her husband to Covid-19.
Reported by The Star, Inspector Mohd Fairos Saberon is a former policeman who lost his life to Covid-19 on the 26th of March 2020. His last words to his wife of 10 years were, “Take care of yourself. I don’t think I will live much longer. Don’t forget to eat. You’re the last woman in my life”. Aiza recited the words of her late husband in the interview as tears started to flow.
According to Aiza, her husband fell sick upon returning from their trip from Bandung, Indonesia on 12th March. They went to a clinic on that day but the doctor said that Fairos had no symptoms of Covid-19.
The couple returned home to self-quarantine but his conditioned worsened and they decided to get him checked again. On 18th of March, the first day of the Movement Control Order, the doctors at Titiwangsa District Health Office said he had dengue.
On their way to KPJ Takawal via Grab, Fairos had difficulty breathing. Upon arrival there, they were told they could not accept him there as the referral letter stated dengue, although he showed symptoms of Covid-19 due to difficulty in breathing. After that, they took another Grab to Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Mohd Fairos needed respiratory support the next day and at 4:20 am, he was tested Covid-19 positive. Upon hearing this, Fairos contacted Aiza’s parents to inform them of the news while asking them to provide support to his wife.
Fairos went on an induced coma on the 20th of March but Aiza held on to hope that he would be able to recover. Aiza communicated with her husband throughout the six days in induced coma providing words of encouragement via Whatsapp in hopes that he would be able to read it when he awakes. While doing this daily, the doctors also provided daily updates and on the 26th of March, she got the news of Mohd Fairos’ death.
She said: “I feel really sad that I couldn’t hold his hand one last time. I couldn’t accompany him to the grave. When he passes away, i felt I was the worst and sinful because I could not fulfill my duty as a wife. But, I now accept this is because of Covid-19.”
Aiza could not attend the funeral as she was awaiting her results and had to be quarantined. Her mind was burdened as she had never been admitted to a hospital before. She was treated in Hospital Kuala Lumpur where she mourned her husband’s death.
While awaiting results, four other patients were together with Aiza in the ward. All of whom provided her words of support. She admited that she managed to regain her strength. Aiza tested negative after spending eight days in Hospital Kuala Lumpur and was sent to a quarantine center in Cheras.
Aiza took the time to thank the Health Ministry and frontliners. She also urged the public to adhere to the government’s Movement Control Order. She said: “I have lost someone I loved, I have also been a Covid-19 patient. If you can’t even stay at home, how are you supposed to remain in a ward? How are you going to face this pain? Please adhere to the government’s instructions because that is best for us. We need to break the Covid-19 chain so we can return to our normal lives. God willing!”
Aiza Syafinaz Shahak, 34, recently lost her husband of 10-years to #Covid19.
She could not attend his funeral and later tested positive for the virus.
While being treated at Hospital Kuala Lumpur, four other patients in her ward helped Aiza to lift her spirits. pic.twitter.com/PZL1AFzMNC
— The Star (@staronline) April 24, 2020
Those words ring true. This is all we can do to fight this pandemic and it takes all of us to do so. Whether the cases increase or decrease, just remember that there are people behind those numbers.