• Monday, April 22, 2024


Newport brothers die of Covid-19 in adjoining beds on same day

Ghulam Abbas (right) and Raza Ghulam

By: Eastern Eye Staff

A family which ran a newsagents in Newport is mourning the death of two brothers within hours of each other.

Ghulam Abbas, 59, and Raza Ghulam, 53, died on 22 April, after contracting the coronavirus. Their father, Ghulam Mohammed, had passed away three weeks ago due to ill health.

The men were particularly popular in the community, as the family used to run a newsagents in Commercial Road, Pill, for over two decades from 1982. They sold the business in 2004.

“I didn’t realise how much of a well-known family we had, and how much of an impact my father and his brother had on the community, until now,” South Wales Argus quoted Rukhsar Abbas, daughter of Ghulam Abbas, as saying.

“It shows the kind of men they were. We’re all so proud of them and are totally heartbroken.”

Ghulam and Raza were treated in adjoining beds in the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

Raza had been in a coma since 27 March, a day before his father passed away. Ghulam was admitted to the hospital on 7 April.

The brothers were buried at St Woolos cemetery, near to their father’s grave, with only a few members attending the funeral due to the restrictions.

Ghulam and Raza’s brother-in-law, Mubarak Ali, said: “It’s totally surreal to think that two brothers have passed away by each others’ side.”

Ms Abbas said she could only pay her last respects to her father from within the confines of her home while the coffins went by outside.

“I had to grieve for my father through a window. It’s a horrible feeling that I wouldn’t wish on anyone,” she said.

“But to have had hundreds of people praying for our family — some that didn’t even know us — has been unbelievable. I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Ghulam Abbas leaves behind his wife and two daughters, and his brother is survived by his wife and two sons.

Their dad, Mohammed, a founding member of the Islamic Society of Wales mosque, was father to five and grandfather to 20.

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