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Guwahati’s First COVID-19 Crusaders Talk Exclusively to G Plus

G Plus News | May 16, 2020 16:31 hrs

GUWAHATI: From getting diagnosed with the virus to returning home hale and hearty, the city's first COVID-19 patient, Manish Tibrewal, and his family share their experience with G Plus.

A resident of Spanish Garden, Manish had undergone treatment in the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital after showing symptoms of being infected with the novel coronavirus. 

Showing COVID-19 like symptoms:

It all started with a fever; his temperature was high, somewhere around 101 or 102 degrees. The fever lasted for a period of 3 to 4 days after which he suffered from dry cough and difficulty in breathing. All symptoms lasted for about 14 to 15 days.

Having first contacted the virus: 

He had travelled with his wife Dipti to Delhi and Agra; after the two-day visit, he returned to Guwahati on 1st March. From 5th to 19th of March, he had a bout of Asthma which he was cured of. He was absolutely fine but on 25th of March, a fever led to the deterioration of his health. He had met a lot of people after returning from Delhi, due to the course of his work. “It could have been an asymptomatic carrier who could have infected me,” he said, unsure of how exactly he had caught the infection. It could have been the Delhi trip or it could have been an asymptomatic carrier that infected him.

Suspicion of having been infected:

On showing COVID-19 like symptoms, he suspected he had been infected by the virus and decided to self isolate himself in his bedroom to safeguard his family. He began home quarantining himself right from the time he felt that his temperature, dry cough and breathing problem could be something more than just fever.

Getting tested COVID-19 positive:

As Manish's condition worsened, the doctor advised him to get a CT scan done which revealed Pneumonia in his lungs. On hearing this, he took the advice of the doctor and went to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on 2nd April to get a check up done.

Treatment and quality of service at GMCH:

While undergoing treatment at GMCH, he was given inhalers and injections for Asthma. He was also given some antibiotics to treat Pneumonia which provided him some relief. Facilities at the hospital were very good; it was a well-equipped hospital, opined Manish Tibrewal. 

Time spent in Quarantine:

He watched movies, documentaries and read many articles on the internet. “I was constantly in touch with my family and friends. I received hundreds of messages from people known and unknown on social media. It helped me keep my mind positive; helped me keep my thoughts positive and helped me not to fall into a negativity trap,” said Manish Tibrewal. 

Returning home post treatment:

Manish Tibrewal was medically discharged on 19th of April and was then in isolated quarantine in GMCH for a period of 2 weeks. He returned home on the 2nd of this month and was then in self-imposed quarantine in his own room for another week. He has now returned to his normal life and feels absolutely fine. 

Manish’s close and extended family had been a great source of support to him and also cooperated with the administration to help contain the virus. Dipti Tibrewal, his wife, also shared her experience and their family’s COVID-19 affected journey with G Plus.

First reaction on husband being tested positive:

Manish was keeping unwell almost from the time they returned from Delhi and the entire month of March. Despite getting the COVID-19 test done, they were somehow confident that the symptoms were of Asthma. “I was taken aback and stunned for a moment, had a complete lapse of reasoning, but gathered all my strength and realised that it was not the time to fall weak. I had to take care of the children and inform our immediate family that he had tested positive,” said Dipti. The most reassuring thing at that moment, for Dipti, was a call that she received from the health authorities, reassuring her that her husband would be very well taken care of and that he would receive the best medical care.

Coping with the COVID situation at home:

The initial days after Manish was hospitalized had been traumatizing for the family. Dipti was completely isolated with the kids; under normal circumstances they would be used to having family and friends with them on difficult days but given the situation that was not possible.“I feel that we are really blessed. We have such friends and family that helped us keep our spirits high. Not even for a moment did they make us feel like we were alone or that they were not physically present with us,” said Dipti on receiving constant reassurances from loved ones.

Advice from the first family to have contacted the virus:

Manish Tibrewal requested people to come forward and get tested if they find themselves or anybody else showing symptoms similar to that of the novel coronavirus and quarantine themselves for their own safety and safety of those around them. He urged people to follow all guidelines issued for prevention of spread of this disease. “I ask people not to get scared; be pragmatic, be practical, stay alert, but do not panic,” he said.

His wife, Dipti Tibrewal, also asked citizens to take home quarantine seriously.

“When Manish first started showing symptoms, a very close doctor friend of ours advised us to go into quarantine. He asked Manish to be completely separate in a room and I was isolated in another room. We had no contact with the kids and the help in the house.” Dipti further appealed to the conscience of people and asked them to stay at home, follow social distancing, make use of protective equipment, as directed by authorities. “The virus has not exited, but we can do our bit to fight it in our own ways,” she said.

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