The first COVID-19 case of Punjab, an Italy returned NRI who was treated and cured at the Guru Dev Hospital Amritsar. (Representational Image)
The first COVID-19 case of Punjab, an Italy returned NRI who was treated and cured at the Guru Dev Hospital Amritsar, said that he had never thought that it would take him 24 days to reach home in his village in Hoshiarpur district after landing in Amritsar from Italy in less than 12 hours.
The 44 -year-old, a native of Hoshiarpur's Khanoor village, reached his village Friday along with his wife and 14-year-old son after being discharged from the hospital. All three of them had landed at the Amritsar airport on March 3.
“I had myself told airport authorities at Amritsar that we need medical aid because I was having a cough, while my son was suffering from fever. Though my wife did not show any symptoms they quarantined all of us at an isolation ward of the Amritsar Hospital," said the cured man. The 44-year-old’s cousin had died of coronavirus in Italy's Emilia Romagna region on March 23, while he was undergoing treatment at the Amritsar hospital. Both his wife and son, however, had tested negative for the virus.
“When I tested positive, it was shocking for me but still I was relieved that my wife and son were negative,” he said, adding that he is grateful to the doctors, the paramedical and class four employees of the isolation ward who looked after him.
“I could win this battle because of the huge support of my family, my cousin Ashok, a good diet, and positivity,” he added.
He said that when the condition in Italy took a turn for worse, he decided to come home because “you feel safe at home”.
On March 17, he had completed his 14-day treatment at Guru Nanak Dev hospital and his samples were sent for coronavirus test. But his test had again returned with a positive result. He was finally declared free from the disease on March 26.
He appealed everyone in Punjab, especially the NRIs, to practice ‘social distancing’ instead of roaming here and there and putting the lives of others in danger.
He said that though he had been cured still he will remain inside his house and will not come out till the lockdown is over. He had migrated to Italy in 2008 and was working on a food packing factory.
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