'I am okay now': Bangladeshi whose wife gave birth while he was critically ill with COVID-19 to be moved to community hospital

'I am okay now': Bangladeshi whose wife gave birth while he was critically ill with COVID-19 to be moved to community hospital

Raju Sarker, COVID-19 Case 42
Raju Sarker, a migrant worker who tested positive for COVID-19, thanked well-wishers in a video posted on Facebook. (Image: Screengrab from Facebook video/Migrant Workers' Centre)

SINGAPORE: Bangladeshi worker Raju Sarker, who was critically ill with COVID-19 in Singapore, will soon be moved to a community hospital.

Mr Raju, also known as Case 42, tested positive for the coronavirus in February. He spent two months in the intensive care unit and had to be put on a ventilator. In mid-April, he was transferred to the general ward when his condition improved.

In a video posted on the Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) Facebook page on Thursday (May 21), Mr Raju thanked those who had supported him and nursed him back to health.

"To the Singapore Government who has treated me for free, the doctors and the nurses in hospital who worked tirelessly and brought me back to health. I thank you," said Mr Raju.

He also thanked his company and MWC for supporting his family, and asked the migrant community in Singapore to abide by the COVID-19 regulations.

"My request to all the migrant brothers - do observe the regulations set by the Government," said the 39-year-old.

"If you fall sick, the Government will help you. Just like when I fell sick, the government stood by me. If you abide by the regulations, don't be afraid, the Government will help and stand by you."

READ: COVID-19: Bangladeshi worker, whose wife gave birth while he was in critical state, moves out of ICU

Mr Raju's case drew public attention in March after it was reported that his wife had given birth to a baby boy in  Bangladesh, while he was in intensive care.

A donation drive was set up for his wife, with members of the public donating items such as diapers, formula milk and toys.

Mr Raju's ordeal began on Feb 1 when he reported the onset of symptoms. He sought treatment at a general practitioner clinic two days later, before going to Changi General Hospital (CGH) on Feb 5.

He was admitted to CGH after a follow-up appointment at Bedok Polyclinic on Feb 7. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb 8 and was transferred to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). 

The Bangladesh High Commission told CNA on Feb 20 that he was in a critical condition, having already suffered from respiratory and kidney problems, as well as pneumonia before being infected with COVID-19.

Baby boy born to wife of COVID-19 patient in Singapore
Baby boy born to wife of critically-ill COVID-19 patient in Singapore. (Photo: Migrant Workers' Centre)

READ: COVID-19: Wife of critically ill Bangladeshi man in Singapore gives birth to baby boy

"Please pray for me. I am okay now," said Mr Raju in the video posted on Thursday.

"I want to continue to live a healthy and happy life with my wife and child, so please pray for me. Thank you everyone."

National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) secretary-general Ng Chee Meng called Mr Raju's recovery journey "nothing short of amazing".

"We have good news from the MWC that he will soon be moved into a community hospital that focuses on rehabilitative care so that he can continue to recuperate," said Mr Ng in a Facebook post on Thursday.

"Raju’s recovery journey is nothing short of amazing and I believe that this will encourage our healthcare and frontline workers to continue doing their best for Singapore."

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Source: CNA/aj(gs)

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