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Khaled was hospitalised with COVID-19 last week. Now he’s urging his community in Sydney to ‘take it seriously’

Speaking in Arabic from his hospital bed in Sydney, Khaled Elmasri has a simple message for his community: “Take COVID-19 more seriously.” After being hospitalized one week ago, the 47-year-old from the city’s COVID-struck southwest was on the verge of being admitted into intensive care before his condition improved.

While struggling to breathe, Mr. Elmasri recounted his experience on-camera.

“Of course, I knew and knew COVID-19 is a real disease, but I don’t think that before now, I took it seriously enough,” he said.  “I was careful, but I don’t think I was careful enough. It’s a severe, burdensome disease.”

After a few days, it’s only now that I’m able to speak and breathe a bit more normally.

Mr. Elmasri’s plea to family and friends is to follow the official government health advice and get vaccinated as soon as they can. I didn’t take it seriously enough to put my name down for a vaccine beforehand,” the father of four said. In hindsight, I feel like I should have done that. I have learned my lesson the hard way. And now I’m going to get my vaccine.

Dr Rifi (left) and Khaled (right).

Dr. Rifi (left) and Khaled (right).

Supplied

This video was introduced by Mr. Elmasri’s GP, Dr. Jamal Rifi, a general practitioner in Sydney’s southwest and a prominent figure in the community. “Khalid wants to share the following video so people can take the advice from someone who got very sick,” Dr. Rifi said on-camera in Arabic. “Because we don’t want any of you to go through what he experienced.

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