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Coronavirus: Indian mother suspected of having cancer seeks urgent repatriation from UAE

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Ajman Filed on June 13, 2020 | Last updated on June 13, 2020 at 06.14 am


'We need to go to India immediately,' her husband pleaded.

A 24-year-old Indian woman, suspected of having cancer, is desperately waiting to be repatriated to her hometown in Tamil Nadu, as she is unable to speak, swallow, or turn her head.

Ajman residents Shafaqat Ara Mubarak Ahamad, her one-and-a-half-year-old baby and her husband Mubarak Ahamad (30) had registered on the Consulate-General of India in Dubai website to fly home due to medical emergency.

Shafaqat Ara underwent a series of tests after she noticed several swollen lymph nodes in her neck in March. "There are about three swollen nodes in the right side of her neck and six in the left-hand side. Now, she has begun developing swelling in her armpits as well," her husband Ahamad told Khaleej Times.

"She has been consuming juice and only liquid food. She has rapidly lost a lot of weight. When my wife first got here three months ago, she used to weigh 73kg. Now, she weighs only 61kg," said Ahamad.

Doctors have strong reasons to believe that she may have cancer. However, they advised Ahamad to fly to India to undergo further tests and treatment.

According to a test report signed by specialist radiologist Dr Dunia K Salman at the Elaj Medical Centre in March, the neck swelling is caused by bilateral multiple cervical and supraclavicular lymph nodes, ranging in size from 3mm to 23mm. "The largest at the right side is 23x13mm and the largest swollen node at the left side is 23x8mm," it said.

However, since the Covid-19 outbreak, Ahamad has not received his salary, resulting in his inability to pay for her treatment or a more complex series of tests.

On Sunday, the family waited at Dubai International Airport Terminal 2 for five hours in the hope that they would be able to find two seats on the Vande Bharat Mission emergency repatriation flights.

"We were told that our names were in the waiting list and we can go if there are cancellations. There were none that day, and we had to go back home," said Ahamad. The couple has sent several emails and petitions to various authorities concerned, unfortunately, most have gone to deaf ears.

"If she has cancer, she needs immediate medical attention. We need to go to India immediately," he pleaded.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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