Coronavirus pandemic in Bangladesh: A father’s wait to meet his firstborn
07:28 PM, April 02, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:45 PM, April 02, 2020

A father’s wait to meet his firstborn

The feeling of being a father in indescribable, and it is more so when it's experienced for the first time. A Bangladeshi migrant in Singapore, whose wife has just given birth, is yet to experience this as for the past two months he has been ill. His physical condition has been worsened by coronavirus infection.

But the collective effort of many has made this otherwise difficult period a bit easier for him.

The man, who has been working in Singapore for nearly a decade, married two years back and last visited his wife in Bangladesh in June 2019. He would go on to become one of the first Bangladeshis to be infected by the virus at a Seletar work site in Singapore.

Four other workers have been discharged.

The Bangladeshi, who is identified by the hospital authorities as Case #42, has been cleared of the Covid-19 virus, and is currently under close medical attention and treatment in the ICU unit.

"His condition remains critical, but we are encouraged by this latest development and continue to ask for everyone's prayers for him," said a representative of the Migrant Workers Center (MWC), a Singapore-based non-profit that helped mobilise donation for the migrant's family in Bangladesh and helped the couple make contact: something essential when the wife is pregnant and husband hospitalised in a faraway country.

The organisation also made a Facebook post on the good news when the wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy (names of both the man and his wife have not been made public) on Monday.

"We received the good news from the wife of Case #42 on the arrival of their firstborn yesterday afternoon [Monday]. Both mother and child are healthy and doing well.

"MWC is especially pleased to have facilitated a video conference call between the wife and the worker's medical team -- in the presence of the husband -- a day before her delivery."

MWC said they are grateful to his doctors who helped make this last-minute request possible even though he remains under sedation, and, in the words of his wife -- "for allowing me to seek strength from seeing my beloved before the delivery!"

The new mother now wishes to convey her thanks to everyone in Singapore who has shown concern and support for her husband and their family. In particular, she conveys her gratitude to the group of medical professionals who continue to give their best to treat her husband despite this stressful period where all the healthcare workers are strained, MWC said.

"Our heartiest congratulations to the couple on the birth of their baby. MWC will continue to monitor our brother's condition closely and we pray for his quick recovery so that he can go home to his family as soon as possible," it said in a post along with a photo of the newborn.

Dipa Swaminathan, founder of a social enterprise for migrant workers -- ItsRainingRaincoats -- who helped manage donation for the migrant worker's family, also posted on the group's Facebook.

"Please join us to seek blessings for this little boy and pray that he meets his father soon happy and healthy," she said.

A spokesman for the worker's employer Yi-Ke Innovations told the Straits Times of Singapore on Tuesday it was planning to donate an additional 1,800 Singaporean dollar to the family of the worker to help with expenses.

Last month, the company, along with the MWC and Mini-Environment Services, which operates the dormitory where he stayed, sent a $10,000 donation via telegraphic bank transfer to the family in Bangladesh.

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