Hyderabad: On returning from the United Kingdom and testing positive for Covid-19, Pandyala Harsha became Andhra Pradesh's 'Patient No. 8'. Now, after spending a fortnight in quarantine at the Government General Hospital in Kakinada and testing negative on Friday, the 22-year-old has been discharged and was raring to share his experiences with the world during an exclusive chat with News18.
"When I came to know that I tested positive for the coronavirus, I was a bit scared. But I was confident that i could overcome this. After spending 14 days in isolation, now I can say there is no need to panic over this virus. What we need is to fight with a little bit of mental strength," said Harsha, after becoming the second Covid-19 patient to be discharged in Andhra Pradesh.
The resident of Kakinada in Andhra's East Godavari district was studying an MBA course at King's College in London. "After the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, all Indian students had decided to come back to India. I started for India on March 17, and after landing at Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, officials suggested home quarantine for some days to all UK flight passengers. While in quarantine, I got a call from one of my UK friends. He said that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. Then I decided to go for the Covid-19 test," said Harsha.
Next, his samples tested positive for the virus. When he heard the news, Harsha says he was a little shaken. "But I knew that if we have a robust immune system, we can overcome this virus and that the death rate across the world is not very high. I told the same thing to my parents also, because they were a little worried about me," he said.
"Covid-19 is not a regular viral infection, as you may think. It's largely asymptomatic. That was the case with me as well as most other positive patients who were with me in the hospital. Again, not showing any signs doesn't mean this is easy to handle. This virus is such that you never know how and when it is going to take over your body's immune system and even turn fatal. You will gradually start to feel that your body is fighting something deep inside while all your energy is draining and that you need to keep your will power and mental strength very high to support that battle," Harsha recalled.
The young student says he doesn't have words to thank the doctors who treated him. "I didn't even get a chance to see their faces, as they completely covered their body before entering into my room. I just heard their voices while they were treating me. The doctors and government of Andhra Pradesh have helped me a lot in beating this virus," said Harsha to News18.
"Getting admitted to a hospital for this disease is no shame. In fact, it's a matter of pride as you are saving lives around you by keeping distance from people," he said. "Think and act. If you don't do that in time, there won't be another chance."