COVID death NSW: Devastated Green Valley removalists pay tribute to mum who died from virus

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A Sydney woman who became the fifth person to die from coronavirus during the state’s current outbreak is being mourned by her family and community.

Saeeda Akobi Jjou Stu, the mother of two removalists – twins Roni and Ramsin Shawka – who allegedly travelled to regional New South Wales despite knowing they had tested positive to the virus, died at home on Monday.

In a post to social media, Roni wrote that his mother, who was aged in her 50s, was his “comfort” and “life”.

“Mama, my love, you are my life, Mama, you are my comfort and my life,” he wrote.

On Tuesday, Ramsin changed his Facebook profile picture to that of his mum, attracting dozens of tributes and comments from mourners.

“May her soul rest in peace,” one person said.

Saeeda Akobi Jjou Stu died on Monday. Credit: Batnaya Chaldean Association/Facebook

Another mourner described Saeeda as having a “sweet laugh”.

Saeeda’s community, the Batnaya Chaldean Association, also paid tribute to her.

“The deceased has passed away in Sydney, a Patriot of Adel Habo Belhad Shuka’s wife and mother of Rommel Roni Ramsen Rita Ranin Shuka,” the organisation wrote on Facebook, in a post translated from Arabic.

NSW Health extended “its sincere sympathy to her family and friends” on Monday.

Twins Roni and Ramsin Shawka.
Twins Roni and Ramsin Shawka. Credit: 7NEWS

As health authorities and police conducted investigations outside the family’s Green Valley home on Monday, the twins were forced to isolate themselves in a car.

Removalists charged

The 27-year-old twins were charged by NSW Police over their movements on Saturday.

The pair, along with a third man, are accused of driving from West Hoxton to Figtree, then onto Molong while making several stops at South Bowenfels and Orange, after being notified they had tested positive to COVID.

The men broke their silence after being charged and said they were informed mid-trip that one had tested positive to the virus.

Their boss Aram Yousif told 7NEWS the men had no symptoms and were not COVID-positive when they set out on their trip.

Police at the scene in Green Valley.
Police at the scene in Green Valley. Credit: AAP

“They had to pick up a job from Figtree on Thursday morning,” he said.

“When they picked that job up, I rang them that afternoon and I said to them ‘guys have you done your test yet?’ and they said to me ‘Aram we are very healthy, we have no symptoms, why should we do the test’?”

Roni was called by NSW Health midway through a trip to inform him he had tested positive to COVID-19.

But, Aram says, English is not his first language and the instructions were unclear.

The scene in Green Valley.
The scene in Green Valley. Credit: AAP

“Of course I feel very bad, I feel very bad for what I (have) done, but it’s not my fault …” Roni added.

“I was driving and he call(ed) me from the health (department), he told me to stop working and go home, I was already in Orange.”

The three continued to drive until police caught up with them in Molong.

Under the public health orders, essential workers travelling outside of Greater Sydney must seek testing weekly but do not need to isolate unless they are symptomatic.

The men will argue their case when they appear in court at the end of August.

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