Dhaka Courier

COVID-19 survivor journalist Apu shares his story of beating the virus

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Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world with nearly five million confirmed cases in 188 countries. More than 300,000 people have so far lost their lives. The situation gives a sense of uncertainty among people, though many patients at home and abroad are making recoveries and returning to normal life.

Among the survivors in Bangladesh, everybody has his or her own different story how he or she dealt with the deadly virus in the recovery process.

Journalist Ashiqur Rahman Apu is one of them who feels lucky in Bangladesh to beat the virus and come out even stronger encouraging others to know how did he manage everything receiving treatment at home.

"Don't lose your morale -- that's the first thing. Stay calm but don't get puzzled. Stay strong and follow doctor's advice strictly. Your chance is obviously there to beat the coronavirus unless there’s any major complication," he told Dhaka Courier.

Apu, a senior reporter of private TV channel ATN News, maintained a 14-day mandatory home quarantine upon his return home from abroad with no symptom of COVID-19. Days later, he got confused with high fever, coughing and body aches.

The young reporter started suffering from fever on April 8 and gave samples for test on April 10 and he tested positive for coronavirus as he went through the report on April 11.

"I'm a non-smoker. I had no breathing problem. That's something encouraging. I had been advised to stay at home and continue taking treatment," Apu said.

At the end of April, Apu was tested twice but the report each time came negative for coronavirus giving him a big relief.

Treatment at Home

Apu depended on Dr Saklayen Russel and one of his doctor friends. He started taking medicines and strictly following suggestions given by the doctors.

"Preparations had been made to shift me to hospital in case my health condition deteriorates. Since, I had no breathing problem, I didn't need to go to hospital," he said adding that colleagues from office and other media organisations kept encouraging him to stay strong mentally.

Apu remained connected with the two doctors all the time through Facebook messengers. His wife was also in touch with the doctors over phone.

What to Eat?

"I ate a lot, trust me! I even had one glass of milk everyday what I had avoided in the last 20 years," said the journalist.

The young man said he took lightly warm water frequently, giving no scope to his throat to dry up. "Throat shouldn't be allowed to dry up."

Apu said he also gurgled twice a day with warm water mixed with salt that gave him much comfort.

"I had hot soup -- chicken and vegetable soup -- and surely homemade one regularly! I had boiled egg, drank lemon water. And I found Malta very useful and ate one a day," he said adding that he tried guava and apple apart from taking rice, rooti and other foodstuff.

Separate Room

From the very beginning, Apu confined himself to a room having attached a bathroom and a balcony.

"I had never gone out from my room. My wife used to drop food whatever I wanted to have that from time to time at a designated place in front of my door," he said.

Apu kept everything -- glass, plate and flux -- separated.

"I made it sure my wife wears mask while dropping food for me. I wanted to keep her safe. We didn't even touch each other and maintained required distancing while receiving food," Apu said.

Initially, friends and well-wishers sent foodstuff for Apu and he purchased things online, too.

"When I bought fruits, milk and other essentials online, I made sure these are washed well with salt water before I consume," he said.

Stay Fit, Do Exercise

"Physical fitness is very important. I felt so," Apu said mentioning that he tried his best to spend at least a few minutes each day in doing light exercise.

"You can do it even if you feel weak. I also did breathing exercise," he said suggesting all to eat healthy food and maintain a healthy life even if they are not infected with coronavirus.

Like Apu, many are receiving treatment at homes to ease burden on hospitals when people need support for health and peace.

The reporter is set to resume his routine official work on Saturday as he feels completely fit now.

Everybody needs peace for health and health for peace, and all need it now as all over the world the COVID-19 pandemic is causing a significant loss to lives, disrupting livelihoods, and threatening the recent advances in health and progress towards global development goals.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the novel coronavirus may never go away and people around the world will have to learn to live with it.

"We have a new virus entering the human population for the first time and therefore it is very hard to predict when we will prevail over it," said Michael Ryan, WHO's emergencies director.

"This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away," he told a virtual press conference in Geneva.

  • Survive
  • Journalist
  • Covid-19
  • Coronavirus

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