Abu Dhabi: The Bangladeshi community in the UAE has paid rich tributes to a long-time resident who died of coronavirus in the UAE recently.
Tofail Alam, 51, passed away from COVID-19 last week, leaving behind a grieving wife, son and daughter.
“My husband went to see a doctor last month (March) because he had been suffering from a severe cold for a few days. But he was admitted the same day, and transferred to a public hospital for treatment,” Nausheen Alam, a 43-year-old homemaker, told Gulf News.
“We’ve lost the pillar of our family to this coronavirus pandemic. It is so devastating that I simply have no words,” Nausheen said.
Friends were equally distraught to learn of Alam’s death.
“I had heard Alam wasn’t doing well, so I had called. I learnt he was admitted at the hospital, and tried to contact him. But calls never went through, and there was no response to our texts. Eventually, we realised this could only be because he was gravely unwell. So all we could do was ask the nurses about his condition,” the friend added.
Alam was employed as an operator at an oil and gas firm, and worked offshore on a shift basis. He had come to Abu Dhabi in the year 2000, having been previously employed in a fertiliser factory in Bangladesh.
Friends testify that he was a wonderful family man, doting father and a great friend.
“His family must be shattered. They were very tight-knit and I remember him as always smiling, always happy to say a kind word. He was extremely fond of his children, and a very loving husband,” another resident said.
Based on updates provided to family, Alam had tested positive for COVID-19 at the hospital. Since being admitted, he had been placed on the ventilator. During his final days, Alam had also needed dialysis.
After nearly a month of treatment, his family was informed that Alam had succumbed to the disease.
“I cannot say I have known him for very long. But he was a very warm person, and will be sorely missed,” said Umer Farook, a Bangladeshi businessman and active member of the community.
Owing to coronavirus restrictions, friends and family cannot meet to mourn Alam’s loss.
“So we are praying for him in our own homes, asking Allah to have mercy on his soul and provide strength to his devastated family,” Alam’s friend said.