In 20 days, this family lost 5 members to COVID-19, despite precautions against the virus. Now they hope their tragedy serves as a warning.
The harsh reality of the coronavirus and the danger it poses to health has taken its toll on a family in Turkey, which has lost 5 of its members in just 20 days to COVID-19, even despite taking all necessary precautions against the virus, so they want to warn other people with their tragedy to avoid contact with family and friends during the pandemic.
Three brothers and two of their wives – Cahit Dündar, 74, Naci Dündar, 62, Mehmet Hanifi Takak, 79, Taliha Dündar, 77, and Necmiye Takak, 64 – are now resting together in the cemetery in a village in Elazığ province, in eastern Turkey; and the tragedy could have been greater, since other members of the family were infected and, although they managed to overcome the disease, they could not even attend the funeral for their loved ones.
Murat Yılmaz, the son of Mehmet and Necmiye Hanifi, believes that the virus spread throughout the family as a result of their deciding to reunite after not seeing each other for a long time. “We think this last meeting was the one that caused the infections. Every member of the family took precautions against the virus, but my uncle was diagnosed with cancer, so they began to visit him often. When he was hospitalised, they visited him often and neglected the measures,” he says.
“We have suffered great pain. We no longer go to crowded places”
“15 people in our family were infected in total (with the coronavirus). Thank God, the others recovered, but we lost my parents and my uncles,” Yılmaz told reporters yesterday, asking people to be extremely careful during the pandemic. “Please cancel your visits to relatives. We have suffered great pain; now we no longer go to crowded places, be it a wedding or a funeral,” he said.
Esma Ceylan Dündar is the daughter of the man who was hospitalised for cancer, and she tells how her father was infected with the coronavirus after his stay in the hospital. “He remained hospitalised for two months. In October, we took him to the hospital for some additional tests; my uncles were with us, they helped him, we had a lot of precautions,” says Dündar.
“My father was very afraid of catching the virus. All the family members came to help, and we used to visit him in his hospital room. We wore two masks and gloves, but we did not protect him and others (family members) enough. Within days, he ended up in intensive care and was transferred to another hospital. 5 days later he passed away”, says the woman.
Dündar adds that in addition to the tragedy of losing 5 family members in 20 days to the coronavirus, almost no one was able to attend the funerals because everyone in the family was infected. “Two days before my father’s death, one of my uncles died from the virus. The following week another died, and in the following weeks the rest died. No matter how careful you are: you must avoid contact with other people,” insists the woman, who trusts that what has happened to them will serve as an example for others.
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As a history lover, Pablo was captivated by Turkey from the first day he visited it in 2006: he got married there, has a house there… and has since become an expert on Turkey’s current affairs. With a long experience in media, he has been at the helm of hispanatolia.com since 2011, and now also of anatoliatoday.com