SINGAPORE, June 28 — The father of a toddler who died from Covid-19 said it has been a difficult few days as his 18-month-old son had been 'fighting for his life'.

“Today, my strong, brave son had passed on to the next world after fighting for his life,” Farath Shba wrote in a post on social media site LinkedIn yesterday (June 27).

He added that he would be spending time with his loved ones and would not be responsive on LinkedIn or any social media for a while. When contacted, Farath told TODAY that the family is preparing the funeral and requested for privacy for the time being.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) said in a news release yesterday that an 18-month-old Singaporean boy had died from Covid-19, the first death of a Covid-19 patient below the age of 12.

The cause of death is encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) due to Covid-19, respiratory syncytial virus and enterovirus infections, said MoH.

In an earlier post five days ago, Farath had said that his son was admitted to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) on the night of June 21 after developing Covid-19.

He said doctors had told him that his son's brain was swollen and that “nothing much could've been done” to alleviate it.

Farath had appealed on LinkedIn for anyone to get him to a neurosurgeon or a medical professional who could save his son.

MoH said yesterday that the 18-month-old was admitted to the children’s intensive care unit in critical condition the next day and was diagnosed with severe meningoencephalitis, a neurological condition where the brain and the layers of thin tissue that cover it are inflamed.

“The polymerase chain reaction test for the patient was positive for Covid-19 as well as two other viruses — rhinovirus or enterovirus and respiratory syncytial virus,” MoH added.

MoH said that it will study — together with the Health Sciences Authority and the expert committee on Covid-19 vaccination — the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines that have been formulated for young children under the age of five “once the dossier is submitted to us for evaluation by the manufacturers”.

“MoH extends our deepest condolences to the patient’s family. We understand that KKH is in contact with the family to provide the necessary support.” ― TODAY