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Monday Jun 01 2020

Watch: Coronavirus patient who recovered advises others to 'stay positive'

Maeez Vaqar.

With an aim to inculcate the basic awareness to battle out the contagion, Maeez Veqar, who recently recovered from the novel coronavirus has shared his journey on social media from the time he started feeling symptoms till he eventually tested negative for the pathogen.

Veqar, a Karachi-based business consultant, started showing mild symptoms of the virus on the night of May 8 to which he thought was the result of exertion and workload. However, he became cautious after he underwent extreme weakness following which he got himself tested on May 10.

"After experiencing the prodromal period of exhaustion, weakness and scratchy throat, I developed high-grade fever. Another red-flag symptom was the shortness of breath even on mild routined activity," he described in a 11-minute video.

Also read: Health experts think coronavirus strain in Pakistan comparatively weaker to US, Europe

Shedding light on the stigma attached with Covid-19 and the anxiety that is developed because of the uncertainty of the disease, Veqar stressed that is is extremely important to stay calm and not to distress when a person starts experiencing the symptoms for the virus.

It is not a good idea to go in denial and ignore the symptoms, he said, since the contagion can be contracted by your loved ones, therefore, it should be dealt with extreme prudence and care.

"We contacted Chughtai Lab and they came to my house to get me tested. After testing positive for the disease, I self-isolated at my home under my family's vigilance and with their cooperation."

Elucidating on the regular follow-ups made by the government officials in order to ensure that Veqar is abiding by the safety protocols, he stated: "It is because of the regular follow-ups from the officials that we decided to get re-tested at a government facility on the May 28 after which I was tested negative."

"They [officials] were extremely good in following up with me and asking how I am doing and ensuring I was in quarantine."

Underlining that the balanced diet comprising proteins and vitamins especially Vitamin C can boast the immune system, he said the medications should be taken under the strict guidance of health experts.

"Stay adequately hydrated," Veqar added.

'How to kill time during self-isolation?'

Pertaining to a question on how he spent his time during the isolation period of 20 days, Veqar shared:"While I was sick, I immersed myself in work to keep myself busy. I would regularly talk to my friends to pass my time along with watching TV shows. "

"It's important to mentally accept that we are in quarantine for a bigger purpose which is to prevent anyone else to catch the virus. That helps in doing the time and being positive about the situation," he asserted.

Appealing people to donate plasma after recovering from coronavirus, Veqar urged masses to save lives by playing their part.

"Apart from prayers and well-wishes, we need to come forward and play our part so that the health system is not over-burdened in combating the contagion," Veqar concluded.

Prevention is better than cure

Asking about the safety measures that were taken during the quarantine period, Veqar said that he isolated himself at his house and the room he used was disinfected after he tested negative for the virus.

"I used to eat my meals in disposable plates and used to discard them in the trash bag that I had kept inside my room. For those who don't have a separate room, create your safe place where you can live alone," he explained, emphasising that the precautions are extremely important.

He went on to add:" Avoid getting distracted by myths and superstitions and staying in touch with your consulting physician is always a good idea."

"Your job doesn't end after you test negative for coronavirus, in fact, a new and more important job begins there after: disinfecting the area you've been isolating into."

"Remember to disinfect your room, clothes and space after you terminate your isolation," he underscored.