Kolkata: From getting discharge certificate with the header ‘Death Certificate’ to facing hardship due to societal acrimony and ignorance, COVID survivors need protection from the system as much as from the disease. That is the takeaway from the stories of Covid-19 survivors from West Bengal.
At a time when Covid-19 infection is on the rise in India and slowly reaching its peak patients who have recovered from this deadly disease are urging people not to panic but to keep a check on personal immunity and maintain good hygiene.
India’s Covid-19 tally continues to surge with nearly 10,000 cases being reported daily. But it is heartening to note that the recovery rate in the country is also going up.
Moloy Sarkar, Corporate Administrator of a private company shares that he had recurring mild fever and soon afterwards he was diagnosed as corona positive. Despite the diagnosis he had to struggle to get admitted in a hospital. The ordeal was well worth it because he has now recovered, is completely fit and healthy and has returned to normal life.
“I was having mild fever and was prescribed paracetamol. But when it became a recurring issue I visited AMRI Dhakuria. There the test result for Corona virus turned out to be negative. Luckily I persisted and since I knew the owner of AMRI I could get myself admitted at AMRI Salt Lake. There I was kept in the isolation ward. After 10 days of rest and paracetamol along with Vitamin tablets I recovered. After 14 days of quarantine I have returned back to my office and am now leading a normal life,” says Sarkar, whose passion is to collect stamps and autographs.
Sarkar added with amusement that his discharge certificate papers had ‘Death Certificate’ written as the header, which of course was changed by the hospital authorities.
The survivor is now urging people to cooperate with Covid-19 patients. Sharing his bitter personal experience he says that the residents of his residential complex didn’t allow even his family to reside there. They had to face a long tussle to be finally allowed in.
“I have stayed in my flat for 42 years. When I was admitted to the hospital I faced the worst behavior of the people around me. We were more or less ostracised and I had to send my entire family to my office’s guest house. Even when I returned after 14 days quarantine I was denied permission to enter my own house. Several pleas and intervention of police helped my family and myself to come back to our flat. It was a very unfortunate and disturbing experience and I urge people to be more accommodative with those who have recovered and are fit,” requested the Covid survivor.
Rupesh Jain, a businessman and resident of Ballygunge shares that after his elder son returned from London he and his family tested positive and were admitted at Beliaghata ID hospital.
“We both are diabetic. A wrong information is doing the rounds that those with co-morbidity, as was in our case, cannot survive Covid-19. But let me assure you that this is not true. One needs proper diagnosis and after that addressing the disease will definitely give you a new life just as we have got. My elder son was Covid positive and it was through him that my wife and I got infected. Now all three of us are free of the disease and are leading a normal life,” says a relieved man.
When asked about the social stigma, the sexagenarian shared that in their case people of their society came forward to make them comfortable after they returned from the hospital.
“We ourselves were wary and hesitant fearing that through us others might get affected and so we chose not to go out of our house at all. But the people of our society came forward to make us feel comfortable and also gave us constant support which acted as an assurance and helped us recover from the deadly infection,” points out Jain.
Sharing the details of their treatment the businessman says that apart from paracetamol and vitamin tablets one must eat timely and have nutritious food in order to get cured.
Recalling the initial symptoms Jain says that initially they had slight fever and cough so they did not take any risk and got voluntarily admitted at the hospital with the help of the local police.
Saroj Sultania from Uluberia said that she was asymptomatic and got infected by her deceased husband. She was admitted at Uluberia Sanjeevan hospital and was cured and sent back home in 14 days.
“Though I have lost my husband to Covid-19, I will still say that the infection is curable and maintaining hygiene, having nutritious food and sanitization are the first steps to ensure one gets cured from this deadly disease. I was sent back home in 14 days without any hassle. Since I was asymptomatic I had no symptoms, but after my husband’s death both me and my son got tested and I was found to be positive and hence was admitted to the hospital,” shares Sultania.
Narrating about his father’s death Piyush Sultania, son of Saroj and Late Pawan Kumar Sultania says that his father could have been saved if the police officials and state government cooperated with him in getting his father admitted at the hospital timely.
“From Uluberia I went all the way to Kolkata. I literally ran from pillar to post but neither the police nor any one from the ruling party responded to my pleas and I returned empty handed because I was told that all the beds are occupied. I lost my father to Corona due to lack of treatment,” complains an anguished Piyush.
Clearly the way to fight Covid-19 seems simple enough but lack of infrastructure is coming in the way of timely medical intervention. And society too needs to change its attitude towards those who have tested positive.
Note: All the names of survivor and picture have been used in the story, with permission.