Muscat: A Pakistani blue collar worker died on Saturday after battling against suspected meningitis at the Royal Hospital's intensive care unit, an official from the Pakistani Embassy said.
According to the embassy official, 25-year-old Shahid Muhammad Nawas who was suffering from suspected tuberculosis and meningitis, died at around 4am on Saturday. "His body is now at the Royal Hospital. We are coordinating with the local officials to repatriate the mortal remains as soon as possible," the embassy official said.
The Times of Oman had first reported the story ( Pakistani expat worker in Oman battles deadly 'meningitis') of Shahid on August 6.
Ever since Shahid's admission to the hospital, he remained unconscious. Meanwhile, the official at the Pakistan Embassy told the Times of Oman that they were in touch with the Ministry of Health officials for the screening of Shahid's close friends for meningitis.
"Now that the reports have confirmed meningitis, screening of Shahid's friends is a must. We hope that the ministry will carry it out soon," the embassy official said.
The delay in treatment had worsened Shahid's condition. According to Shahid's friends, his case is a perfect example of when troubles come, they come together, especially when you are poor.
Cough and cold
"Shahid had gone to receive treatment for cough and cold at a clinic. His condition deteriorated after he was discharged from the clinic," Khalid Sha, a close friend of Shahid, said.
"Due to lack of money, he couldn't go in for advanced treatment. On top of that, when he planned to fly back home, the airlines denied permission citing his health condition," he added.
Talking to the Times of Oman, the airlines officials said denying permission to a sick passenger is a general practice followed by the airlines globally.
"If a passenger is suffering from any kind of ailment, we require a certificate from the doctor stating that the passenger's health condition is okay and he is fit to fly. Otherwise, we don't allow any sick passenger to board the flight," an official from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said.
Shahid was supposed to fly on a PIA flight to Pakistan.
"After the airlines denied permission to fly, we were worried and clueless about what to do. In between, his resident card also expired. Citing him as an undocumented person, the private hospitals kept denying admission and treatment. We were trying out all the options to save him," Shahid's friends said.
"For the last three weeks, every breath of his was a hope for us. We were afraid that Shahid will end up dying in our hands. He was admitted to the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital with the help of the Pakistan Embassy in Muscat and some kind-hearted community people," Khalid Sha, had told the Times of Oman.
According to the Oman government data, there were 219,516 Pakistani workers in the country till the end of May, a majority of them being blue-collar workers.
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