Boy, 4, with rare inflammatory syndrome linked to Covid-19 out of ICU

Muhammad Ali Zafir Mohamed Azmi is now in a high dependency ward in KK Women's and Children's Hospital. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MARILYNN CACANINDIN
Four-year-old Muhammad Ali Zafir Mohamed Azmi (left) and his father Mohamed Azmi Lendang. The boy was transferred to a high dependency ward at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital on Tuesday. PHOTO: AISYAH AISH ALI/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A four-year-old boy who is suffering from a rare and severe inflammatory syndrome linked to Covid-19 in children has been discharged from the intensive care unit (ICU) on Tuesday afternoon (Nov 9), after spending more than a week in there.

His mother, Ms Marilyn Cacanindin, 39, told The Straits Times that Muhammad Ali Zafir Mohamed Azmi has been transferred to a high dependency ward in KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH).

ST previously reported that Ali Zafir was placed in the ICU on Nov 1, the same day he was admitted to KKH for symptoms including a persistent high fever, chills and vomiting. Other symptoms he had included involuntary jerking in his sleep, bruising on his limbs and intense stomach pain.

He was diagnosed with multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which can affect various organs including the brain and kidneys.

The cause of the syndrome remains unknown, but it has been observed in children who have seemingly recovered from Covid-19 without incident previously.

Five out of some 8,000 paediatric Covid-19 cases in Singapore were diagnosed with MIS-C, with the latest case announced by Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary at the multi-ministry task force media conference on Monday.

In the ICU, Ali Zafir was intubated and placed on a ventilator. He was taken off it on Nov 7.

Ms Marilyn, who is a manager at fast-food chain McDonald's, told ST on Wednesday that the boy was still unable to sit up by himself.

"The physiotherapists are helping him to stretch and exercise to regain his strength," she said.

He still cannot eat solid food yet, but has started to drink milk in small quantities.

Ms Marilyn said she has been posting regular updates on Ali Zafir's progress on her Facebook page as her friends and family continue to ask after him.

The young boy's bravery amid intense pain, despite his tender age, has sparked an outpouring of admiration and concern for him from the wider community.

ST's exclusive interview on Monday with Ms Marilyn about her family's ordeal received over 3,100 likes and 1,300 shares.

Thanking Singaporeans for their concern, Ms Marilyn proudly added: "He is as brave as he is in (his favourite game) Call Of Duty."

SPH Brightcove Video
Four children infected with Covid-19 in S'pore have been diagnosed with multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, known as MIS-C.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.