A Malaysian doctor thought to have died from exhaustion yesterday had actually passed away of other illnesses, according to his wife and Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Ali Noor Hassan had been battling acute respiratory distress since December after working long hours treating COVID-19 patients at the government hospital in Cheras. A photo of him was shared by a nonprofit yesterday, leading to rumors that Ali died from fatigue.
“He continued to do so much for others every day, even though he was ill,” his wife Asilah Aqarny wrote online today, while Noor said that Ali was not infected by the coronavirus.
“Ali tested negative for COVID-19,” he said, adding: “He has been receiving treatment at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital since early December 2020 due to other illnesses. I would like to ask everyone to please respect the deceased and his family, and stop speculating.”
The nonprofit Skuad Pengurusan Jenazah, or Corpse Management Squad, paid tribute to Ali yesterday on Facebook with a photo they said was the last image taken of him before he died. The image showed Ali asleep at a desk with his PPE still on. Ali was also a member of the squad for three years.
“This is the last photo of Ali, which was taken by his friend before he fell ill due to exhaustion and fatigue,” the post said. “He did not get enough rest while battling the COVID-19 pandemic. He fell asleep and fainted while on duty.”
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This article, Pandemic doctor died of acute respiratory distress, not fatigue or COVID, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.