The veteran had travelled to Kerala from Mumbai on May 21, 2020.

Former footballer Hamza Koya passed away this morning due to COVID-19. The 61-year-old was believed to have developed symptoms of the virus on May 26, 2020. Accordingly, he was taken to the Manjeri Medical College Hospital in Kerala for further treatment. However, his health deteriorated over time. Merely two days back, Koya reported breathing difficulties. This is believed to be one of the foremost traits of a patient infected with COVID-19. Subsequently, the veteran footballer was moved to the ventilator.

However, his health did not improve and he breathed his last a few hours ago. This is a further blow to the Indian football fraternity, which has already dealt with the demise of the duo of PK Banerjee and Chuni Goswami in the past few months. Whilst Koya wasn’t as popular a figure as the aforementioned two stalwarts, he was still an experienced individual who devoted his career to the sport.

The man represented several clubs in Mumbai during his playing days and was a defender. He played for the likes of Western Railway, Union Bank, Tata Sports Club, RCF and Orkay Mills. Moreover, Hamza Koya even turned up for Maharashtra in the Santosh Trophy. It is interesting to note that he was residing with his family in Mumbai until a fortnight ago or so. However, Koya returned to his native place near Parappanangadi with his family, except his son on May 21. Unfortunately, the sportsperson began to demonstrate signs of having contracted the coronavirus disease only a few days after his travel to Kerala.

Furthermore, Hamza Koya’s five immediate family members have now tested positive for COVID-19 too. The report from IANS states that their current condition is stable. However, they are undergoing respective treatments to combat this virus. Meanwhile, the health authorities in Kerala will be performing the last rites of Hamza Koya.

The sportsperson’s death might reaffirm the fear or apprehension a layman carries that relatively older people are more likely to succumb to this virus. According to this article from the Times of India published on May 22, over 50% of total fatalities due to COVID-19 in India are among people who were above 60 years of age. Koya’s death takes the total tally of deceased patients due to this virus in Kerala to 15.

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