When the new coronavirus first hit Egypt, Mohamed Wahdan claimed in a Facebook video that it was just fake news. He claimed the pandemic was part of a US plot to damage the Chinese economy. Two months on, Wahdan’s family is preparing to bury him in their home village of Taha Shobra after he contracted and died from COVID-19.
Wahdan was an athletic and healthy father of one, according to his family and friends, but that did not save him from COVID-19. After initially telling his Facebook followers to continue life as normal, and criticizing coronavirus related panic buying in a March 16 video, Wahdan developed COVID-19 symptoms.
After testing positive for the virus, Wahdan was admitted to an isolation hospital south of Cairo where he started posting videos warning people of the dangers of COVID-19.
“I was told to stay at home and not to go out, but I didn’t take such warnings seriously as I was pursuing a false life,” a repentant Wahdan told social media. “Please do not take the virus lightly because it is a fatal disease that destroys every part of your body.”
The young father, who lived with his wife and daughter in Munefeya governorate, north of Cairo, said he had also passed the virus on to loved ones. A family friend who spoke to Arab News confirmed that both Wahdan’s father Nady and brother Bahaa are currently receiving treatment for COVID-19 in separate hospitals.
“Hunger will not kill you. Do not risk your life. The disease is spreading in Egypt especially in Munefeya. Unfortunately, my siblings contracted the virus from me. Stay in your homes because this is a lethal disease.”
“Please pray for my father Nady Wahdan who is currently in the chest hospital, because he has coronavirus. He is in bad shape. Please, God, help us through this. I wonder who will be next?” he shared on May 4 after his father’s COVID-19 test came back positive.
In some of the videos he shared from within the quarantine hospital, Wahdan appeared feverish and unable to speak. He complained of being in great pain, and in a video shared days before he lost his coronavirus fight Wahdan said: “I am dying.”
Mohamed Wahdan’s sad story is a cautionary tale for all who choose to believe coronavirus is not real and continue with their daily lives as normal. It is a timely reminder for everyone to stay home, stay safe, and continue to implement the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended measures including wearing a mask, hand washing and maintaining social distancing.
The vice-chairman of an isolation hospital at Matrouh, Mohamed Allam, said that Wahdan’s case was rare, and that recovery rates in Egypt are high.
“In a few cases the pain is extreme, and the fever goes on for days causing much more pain in the body and affecting a patient’s state of mind,” Allam said in a Facebook post.
“Of course, the disease has defeated some people but still, they are few,” he added.
For some patients, the disease is mild, or even asymptomatic, but there is no denying that it can also be deadly.