They died a day apart and in different states, but some point out that the cause could be the same.
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Nur Natasya Ezreen Azemi, 22 was found unconscious by her housemate on 8 July at 3 am. She was said to have been working on her coursework at a house she rented in Merbok, Kedah at the time. After 11 hours at the Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital, on Friday at 2.50pm, Nur Natasya was pronounced dead.
On Saturday at 5am, Muhammad Adham Hazim, 21 crawled to his parents room in their home in Tepoh, Terengganu. His parents heard his calls for help and took him to the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital. At 10.52pm, he died in the hospital’s ICU.
Both students had four things in common:
- Both have been complaining of headaches.
- Both have been stressed to complete their coursework from home.
- Both died because of ruptured blood vessels in their head.
- Both went to Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) – Nur Natasha went to Merbok and Adham went to Jengka.
Was it stress?
On the same Saturday, 10 July, Kosmo reported that the Senior Consultant in Neurology at the Faculty of Medicine, UiTM, Prof Datuk Dr Raymond Azman Ali said that the possibility of blood vessels rupturing due to stress is almost non-existent because the two things are not related to each other.
The story was shared by an administrator of the UiTM Facebook account and was taken down after it received ire from the student community.
The admin has since taken down the post and issued an apology.
Assalamualaikum dan salam sejahtera. Disertakan permohonan maaf secara terbuka saya kepada para pelajar yang mengadu di media sosial tertekan dgn online learning. Diharapkan perkara ini tidak dipanjangkan lagi. Terima kasih. pic.twitter.com/Y5vOmQIBK4— 🇲🇾¯\_(ツ)_/¯ | IDC 🇵🇸 (@awatifanuar) July 10, 2021
However, most students agree that stress from studying remotely is a major factor.
Semoga Allah tempat mereka berdua dalam golongan orang2 yg beriman. I bravely admit that this sem lesson plan are about in a rush especially after sem break because lecturer can't find other proper date for quiz & test , sometimes quiz test are at the same date also . #UiTM pic.twitter.com/0EktFGoI0b— Syazabat_ (@syzabtrsyia) July 10, 2021
This is what stress does to your brain and body in short. I'm not a MD but I try to keep it very clear and concise for people to understand.— – nur- ~نور~ 🇲🇾🇵🇸 (@Onii__chan) July 10, 2021
Yes, related to UiTM students case recently. pic.twitter.com/G6mgNeZ3lK
On Sunday, 11 July, UiTM issued a press statement, advising students who are in need of internet services and assisted devices to stay at the college or near the campus and added that all assignment dates have been given with ample lead time, while assessment and evaluation activities are extended until August.
At the same time, the Student Affairs Division and Counseling Unit is ready to give advice to any student in need and they are advised to talk to their lecturers, academic advisor, or program lead to solve any issues.
But some say the statement alone is not enough.
pls moderate ur own RPs.whats the point of changing the exam answering time at the VERY last minute?ppl suffer from panic disorder.theres no harm in setting a fixed time and announcing it with proper timing cuz how u expect productivity from students when ur own team is chaotic?— Megan (@xchlsboo) July 11, 2021
Oh come on. Sem ni cakap simpati, kasi rehat, kasi extend due. Sem depan repeat balik all workload. Ada yg sakit, pastu ulang lagi statement simpati.— Anak Masnan (@alikerinting) July 11, 2021
One pointed out that the Student Representative Council had changed Study Week, a week-long holiday for students to catch up, into “Tempoh Cuti Bertenang” to calm the students down.
so after students’ deaths, petitions, uproars everywhere the institution opted to rename the study “week” to “tempoh bertenang”. missed the whole point. https://t.co/VijmbPZZp8 pic.twitter.com/25H5n09Lsl— Nurin Irdina (@nuriirdina) July 11, 2021
The issue runs deep
The truth is, what we see might only the tip of the iceberg that is the issues that UiTM students face during the pandemic, as one person pointed out in a string of Tweets.
Pentadbiran UiTM memang in denial sifatnya.— ʀɪᴏᴛ (@aliffnaif_) July 12, 2021
2 tahun lalu, aku bermesyuarat dengan TNC UiTM tentang pelajar B40 yang tak dapat penempatan kolej kediaman sampai terpaksa menumpang masjid.
Respon dia? Ini kes isolated. Ataupun pelajar yang tak jumpa pentadbiran untuk mengadu.