Father of toddler in Singapore who died of COVID-19 mourns loss

KK Women's and Children's Hospital


28th June 2022 – (Singapore) A man whose toddler died of COVID-19 on Monday said the last few days were “difficult” as he mourned the loss of his one-and-a-half-year-old son.

“These few days, it (has been) difficult. Today, my strong, brave son had passed on to the next world … after fighting for his life,” Mr Farath Shba wrote in a post on LinkedIn on Monday.

“In this difficult time, I’ve chosen to spend time with my loved ones and won’t be responsive on LinkedIn or any social media for a while.

“Thanks for all the support.”

The post ended with “Zaheer Raees Ali”.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) reported on Monday that a toddler had died from encephalitis due to COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus and enterovirus infections, adding that the Singaporean boy had no other past medical history and was previously well.

The boy was the first person under the age of 12 to die of COVID-19 in Singapore.

The toddler was taken to the children’s emergency department at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) on the night of Jun 21. He had a high fever and recurrent seizures, with a subsequent drop in consciousness, said MOH.

He was admitted to the children’s intensive care unit in critical condition on Jun 22 and was diagnosed with severe meningoencephalitis. This is a neurological condition that involves encephalitis or inflammation of the brain, and infection of the meninges or membranes that cover the brain.

His polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test was positive for COVID-19 as well as two other viruses – rhinovirus/enterovirus and respiratory syncytial virus.

Mr Farath wrote about his son’s worsening condition around that time in a post on LinkedIn.

He was asking for further medical assistance, saying: “The doctors are saying that his brain is swollen and there’s nothing much that (they) could’ve done to alleviate the (swelling) which is due to inflammation and to save him.” 

“Can anyone get me to a neurosurgeon or a medical professional who could save my dear boy please,” he asked.

On Monday, Mr Farath wrote on LinkedIn that his “strong, brave son had passed on … after fighting for his life”.