Elderly couple succumbs to COVID-19 within days of each other

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE 

SIK – “My elderly parents promised to stick it together to the end, and both passed away just two days apart,” said Zuriyani Ramli, who lost her parents due to COVID-19, on Friday and yesterday, while they were receiving treatment at Sik Hospital.

Zuriyani, 42, who also tested positive for COVID-19 and was treated at the same hospital, deeply regretted the fact that she could not see her late mother, Salmah Shariff, 74, for the last time before her remains were taken out of the hospital for burial.

However, the housewife was grateful because she had a chance to spend time with her father, Ramli Awang, 82, as they were receiving treatment in the same ward until the senior citizen breathed his last two days later.

“The three of us were treated at the same hospital and I was placed in the same ward as my father, while my mother was admitted to the emergency ward. So, I couldn’t see my mother when she was admitted to the hospital until she died at 11.50pm on Friday.

“My father was treated in the same ward as me so we had time to recite the Yassin together. When his condition was deteriorating, I was there with him and taught him to recite the syahadah. He breathed his last in front of me, at 12.05 am Sunday,” said Zuriyani in a tears, when contacted last night.

Zuriyani, who lives in Kampung Kota Bukit, Jeneri, with her husband and five children, aged six to 20, said her father, who suffered a stroke, and her mother lived with her for the past few months.

“Prior to this, my parents were living in Kampung Batu 9, Gurun, with my younger brother, a bachelor. I invited my father to live with me so I could look after him and my mother also came to live with us soon after,” she said.

Regarding the COVID-19 infection, Zuriyani said she was first tested positive for the virus, after experiencing fever and cough for a week and recovered.

When she went to the hospital to get medicine for her cough on Friday, she was asked to do a swab test.

“When I found out that I was positive for COVID-19, I immediately called my brother and told him to take my father to the hospital, as my father also had a fever for a few days. My mother also had a cough, but she kept telling me that it was normal to due to her old age,” she recalled.

Once her father tested positive for COVID-19, the hospital then fetched her mother who was later confirmed positive for the disease and admitted to the emergency ward due to her weak condition.

“I never thought that they tested positive. I expected that it would be my dad who would be in critical condition due to his stroke. I honestly don’t know where the infection came from because I don’t go anywhere, my daily routine is to look after my parents and my family,” she said.

Her husband and their five children also underwent the COVID-19 screening test, but they have yet to get the results.

“I remember my father was saying that he wanted to celebrate Aidiladha with me and my family this year and he also told us not to skip our daily prayers,” she said, adding that the remains of her parents were laid to rest in their village’s cemetery.

Meanwhile, Kedah Health director Dr Othman Warijo said the elderly couple was admitted to Sik Hospital on Friday with respiratory infection symptoms and the death was due to COVID-19 pneumonia.