Two engineers among 10 Indian fatalities of coronavirus

April 19, 2020

By Hassan Cheruppa

Saudi Gazette

There were 10 Indians among the total 97 fatalities of coronavirus in the Kingdom. All the nine deaths were reported from the western region while the 10th case was from Riyadh. These include four in Madinah, three in Makkah and two in Jeddah.

Badre Alam of Uttar Pradesh and Mohammed Sadiq from Telangana died in Jeddah, while Shebnaz Pala Kandiyil, Kerala, Suleman Sayyed, Tausif Balbale and Barkat Aliabdullatif Fakir, all from Maharashtra, died in Madinah.

Those who died in Makkah are Azamatulla Khan of Telangana, Mohammed Aslam Khan and Md Fakhre Alam from Uttar Pradesh. All three, who died in Makkah, were working with Saudi Binladin Group.

Aslam Khan, aged 51, hails from Meerut city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. While working as electrical engineer at the Haram Project, Khan was admitted to King Faisal Hospital, Makkah on April 3, following a worsening of his condition after being infected with fever and throat pain. He had been on ventilator for more than two weeks and breathed his last on Saturday night. Procedures are under way for his burial in Makkah.

Khan is survived by wife Gulistan Aslam, teacher of English in 9-12 block of International Indian School, Jeddah and daughter Tamanna (class 11, IISJ) and son Hamdi (class 8, IISJ). Khan and family had been living in Makkah since 2005 and shifted to Jeddah a few months ago for the purpose of children’s education.

His last visit to his family was on March 21 and decided to stay back in Makkah when he developed fever and throat pain. Gulistan Aslam and children, who have been in self-imposed home quarantine, are not in a position to bid adieu to their beloved breadwinner or receive condolences.

Principal Dr. Muzaffar Hassan, school officials, teachers, non-teaching staff, and students of IISJ offered their heartfelt condolences to Gulistan Aslam and other bereaved family members of Aslam Khan.

Azmatullah Khan, from Telangana, an engineer at the Makkah Haram power station, died of coronavirus on Friday. Mujeeb Pukkottoor, a prominent Indian social worker and general secretary of Makkah chapter of Kerala Muslim Cultural Center, told Saudi Gazette that the body of Aslam Khan was buried in Makkah Sharaie Cemetery after Dhuhr prayer on Sunday.

As he had no relatives in Makkah, the family gave Mujeeb authorization to perform the final procedures, he said. Khan, aged 65, had been working with Saudi Binladin Group for the last 32 years. He is survived by wife Fauziya Salma, sons — Abdul Wahid Khan, Rahmatullah Khan, and daughters Samsh Fatima and Mehar Fatima.

According to the Ministry of Health’s daily report published on April 14, the number of coronavirus infected cases among workers of Saudi Binladin Group in various parts of the Kingdom stood at 117, and these included 70 cases in Makkah.

The first two Indian mortalities were reported from Madinah and Riyadh earlier this month with the death of Shebnaz Pala Kandiyil (29) and Safvan Nadamal (41), both from the southern state of Kerala. Mohammed Sadiq, Hyderabad, working in Jeddah; Suleman Sayyid Junaid (Maharashtra), and Badre Alam (Uttar Pradesh) are the other Indian deceased cases.

Shebnaz and Safvan were the breadwinners of their poor families. Shebnaz from Panoor in Kannoor district died on April 3 and his body was buried in Jannatul Baqie, Madinah on April 7. He came back to the Kingdom March 3 after his marriage in January.

His bride Shahnaz had to send authorization letter for the burial of Shebnaz within three months of their honeymoon. His father Mammu is an autorickshaw driver in their town. Shebnaz was able to buy a plot of land and build a house for his family from the little income earned by him after flying to the Kingdom for the first time six years ago.

Safvan, a taxi driver from Chemmad in Malappuram district, died on April 2 and was buried in Riyadh on April 8. The death happened after his wife Qamarunnisa reached Riyadh on a visit visa. The couple has no children.

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