Coronavirus: Recovery of Kashmir’s Patient Zero Is A Good Beginning

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by Syed Samreen

SRINAGAR: On the eve of March 18, when the first case of Coronavirus in the Kashmir valley was declared, the city was almost hysterical. Till that date, Coronavirus was just in the news, not in the town.

Doctors visiting the old city locality for the infection assessment on March 19, 2020, a day after a lady was detected with Coronavirus infection. In this photograph, they are seen marking a house after the visit. KL Image Bilal Bahadur

After almost two weeks, this strong woman who had earlier tested positive for the virus tested negative. Regardless of the higher risk of death amongst elderly people, this patient is now recovering at a healthy pace and is recuperating from the viral disease while still being on an extended 14 quarantine. No doubt the global pandemic has left people all over the world alarming and filled with fright, doctors have a more positive approach towards it.

Kanika Kapoor Case

Young men on the social media are comparing the aged Khyam lady with Bollywood’s bubbling singer Kanika Kapoor’s who tested positive for the fifth time in a row. Presently admitted to the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), she is stable but retains the infection.

Singer Kanika Kapoor

She tested positive on March 20 – two days after the Khayam lady, after she flew home from London. She was the key infection spreader to the power elite in India sending former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her son Dushyant Singh into quarantine. Accused of not revealing her travel history, the UP government has filed a case against her.

Kapoor attended a birthday bash in Lucknow where the power elite was around. She also mingled with the family, friends and neighbours thus triggering a long chain since March 14.

Doctors Positive

The Khayam lady, who had flown home from Umrah, however, had not infected any of the closer ones like her husband or the daughter in law or her own daughters. Almost all tested negative but are in the quarantine. She is the mother in law of IPS officer, Imtiaz Ismail Parray, currently the SSP Crime Kashmir.

Dr Farooq A Jan (SKIMS)

The doctors treating the aged Khayam lady said she is much better. Dr Farooq Jan, Medical Superintendent SKIMS, said it was clear and distinct that along with any medicine, the cure that lies behind such diseases is faith, willpower and teamwork.

“In the beginning, the patient was apprehensive but later on, she knew that she would soon come out of it and had the willpower to do so,” Dr Jan said. The patient responded well to the drugs and cooperated with the doctors. From being apprehensive about the infection to being optimistic, the patient recovered and tested negative after almost a period of two weeks. “The patient’s faith doubled up with the efforts of all the doctors who treated upon her and resulted in the recuperation of the patient.”

Jan’s Deputy at SKIMS, Dr Ghulam Hassan Yatoo also admitted that patient’s tremendous will power and faith helped her recover fast.

Be Positive

President of the Doctors Association of Kashmir, Dr Suhail Naik said people should avoid getting panicky though, at the same time, they must take adequate precautions in the absence of the cure.

Dr Suhail A Naik

“I request the people of Kashmir to stop worrying and panicking,” Naik told this reporter. “Indeed, the disease is infectious and anyone can contract the virus but there is a 97%-98% recovery rate of the patients who are tested positive.”

Naik emphasized that being testing positive doesn’t necessarily mean death. If a person tests positive, he should be optimistic and should hope for a healthy recovery.

“We are going to adopt the Chinese model to treat Coronavirus patients in Kashmir, which suggests that 85% per cent of Covid-19 patients be quarantined at home. The patients can recover from home itself provided that proper hygiene, social distancing and all other precautionary measures are taken,” Dr Naik said.

At the same time, however, Naik said, the doctors of Kashmir will take care of and treat the people who have tested positive.

“I want to tell people to stay positive, have faith in the staff working day in and day out for them and take every possible precautionary measure,” he said.

Sounding a word of caution, Naik said people should stop stigmatizing the patient and his family as the virus knows no limits and can affect anyone. “Alienation of the patients is not a healthy approach, we should rather pray for the fast recovery of patients because stigmatizing the patient adds to the overall fear amongst people and also the patient.”

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