More than 30 people turned up to pay their final respects to Mr Ang Yong Han, the first person Singapore to die of dengue this year. About a third of the group that gathered at the wake in Hougang on Friday morning were his friends from school and his pool buddies.
His mother, fruit seller Yap Geok Kuan, 45, wailed inconsolably as she bid goodbye to her son, and had to be supported by other family members.
Both her and her husband, vegetable wholesaler Ang Lai Heng, 58, said they would not be participating in the cremation at Mandai Crematorium. "The white-haired ones shouldn't send the black-haired ones off. Besides, nothing can bring my son back to me," he told The Straits Times in Mandarin.
His son was a budding pool player who had recently been picked for the national youth squad, after emerging top eight in a national ranking tournament. The 20-year old was an only child. He had fallen ill on May 22 and died of dengue shock syndrome at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) on Wednesday morning.
The former ITE College Central student, who lived in dengue cluster Hougang Avenue 1, was initially admitted for a viral fever on May 23. In a Facebook comment posted that day, he said his temperature hit 39.5 degrees celcius.
He is one of more than 8,000 people who have been infected with the mosquito-borne virus this year. Last week, 641 people were infected. Since Sunday, another 458 have fallen ill.