A day after celebrating their 24th birthday under lockdown in April, twins Joefred and Ralphred Varghese Gregory from India’s Uttar Pradesh state tested positive for Covid-19. Weeks later, the twins who were inseparable in life, died within hours of each other.
On 13 May, Gregory Raymond Raphael and Soja Raphael, parents of the twins from the city of Meerut, about 100 kilometres from Delhi, were informed by doctors at the hospital where they were admitted that one of their sons, Joefred, had passed away.
When the other twin called his mother from the hospital, he could sense that something was wrong. According to media reports, Ralphred told his mother: “Ma, you are lying.”
He died the next day.
India has been ravaged by coronavirus. The devastating second wave that hit the country has claimed thousands — almost 279,000 are dead in the country. Crematoriums and graveyards are reporting a shortage of space and hospitals are still reporting a shortage of oxygen cylinders for severe Covid patients.
The Meerut twins had developed fever a day after their birthday on 23 April. While the family isolated them and monitored their oxygen saturation levels at home, their symptoms started worsening around 1 May, which is when they were both admitted to a hospital.
On 13 May, their father Gregory Raymond, told the Indian Express: “Our world came crashing... When Joefred died, I had a sixth sense that Ralphred would not make it. Simply because they were inseparable.”
The twins were born three minutes apart. Both were bachelor of technology graduates.
The two had been working from their home in Meerut during this lockdown. Ralphred had taken leave from his office in Hyderabad due to an arm injury to visit his family.
While Joefred worked at IT company Accenture, Ralphred worked with Hyundai Mobis.
Meanwhile, the distraught family has been holding prayer meetings. Ms Raphael was quoted by news reports as saying: “Our family is broken. Covid took away my sons who had never harmed anyone in their entire lives.”
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