Coronavirus pandemic

Worker who is yet to hold his baby out of ICU after 2 months

While the Bangladeshi worker was unconscious, his wife gave birth to a boy on March 30. He learnt via a call with his wife and baby on Tuesday that he had become a father but was unable to speak as he was intubated, said a spokesman for the man's emp
While the Bangladeshi worker was unconscious, his wife gave birth to a boy on March 30. He learnt via a call with his wife and baby on Tuesday that he had become a father but was unable to speak as he was intubated, said a spokesman for the man's employer.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ ITSRAINING RAINCOATS

One of Singapore's earlier Covid-19 patients, a 39-year-old Bangladeshi construction worker, was transferred to a general ward at Tan Tock Seng Hospital last night after being in intensive care for more than two months.

The Migrant Workers' Centre (MWC) said yesterday that the man, Case 42, has been taken off the ventilator and is no longer sedated.

"He is able to breathe on his own and will require speech therapy moving forward as part of his recovery process," the non-government organisation wrote on Facebook.

The man first reported symptoms on Feb 1 and was warded at Changi General Hospital (CGH) on Feb 7. He tested positive the next day.

Along with four other Bangladeshi men, Case 42 was among the first foreign workers here to test positive for the virus.

They were linked to a cluster in Seletar Aerospace Heights where they were working to expand aerospace manufacturer Bombardier Aviation's facilities.

By March 7, the other four had recovered and been discharged.

In all, Case 42 has spent the second-longest period of time in the hospital, aside from a 64-year-old Singaporean man who was warded one day earlier.

Since his admission, he had remained in critical condition in the intensive care unit (ICU) owing to complications from Covid-19.

He remained in the ICU even after he was cleared of the virus and was transferred out of CGH to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases late last month.

The Bangladesh High Commission had earlier said the worker suffered from respiratory and kidney problems, as well as pneumonia, before he was infected with the virus.

While he was unconscious, his wife back home gave birth to a boy on March 30.

A spokesman for the man's employer, Yi-Ke Innovations, told The Straits Times that the man's cousin had visited him on Tuesday and did a video call to Bangladesh.

The worker learnt he had become a father during the call with his wife and baby but was unable to speak as he was intubated, said the spokes-man. "Currently, his blood pressure is stable and the medical teams are monitoring his condition."

The MWC said in its post yesterday that it has tracked the man's case closely and grown close to both his family and his employer.

"We have spoken with the family and the employer regarding this very encouraging and happy development and can report that all concerned are overjoyed.

"In particular, we are inspired by Case #42's fighting spirit throughout this lengthy ordeal and thank him for prevailing and getting better."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2020, with the headline 'Worker who is yet to hold his baby out of ICU after 2 months'. Subscribe