Thiruvananthapuram: Her days in the isolation ward no longer haunts India''s first COVID-19 patient in Kerala and the 20-year old medico who has fully recovered is now busy attending online classes from her university in Wuhan in China as she completed three months since being diagnosed with the disease.
She is not unduly perturbed by the fact that Wuhan turned out to be the epicentre of the deadly virus, which went on to affect most parts of the world, and eagerly waiting to go back to the Chinese city and resume her course once normalcy returns.
"I am attending online classes of our university since February. The classes are held everyday depending on the subjects. We were told the portions now being taken would be take once again after the regular classes start as practicals have to be held", the student told PTI from her home town in Thrissur district.
It was on January 30 that the third year medical student from Wuhan university tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the country''s first COVID-19 patient, days after she had returned home following semester holidays.
After nearly three weeks of treatment at the Thrissur Medical College Hospital, she had tested negative twice for the virus, confirming her recovery, and was discharged on February 20. Soon, she started attending the online classes of her university in Wuhan, which has been attracting several students from Kerala in view of its comparatively lower fees and other facilities.
The classes begin at 5.30 am (Chinese time 8 am) and go on till 9 am with a 10 minute break, the woman said. "The faculty in the university include those from China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but our faculty are mostly Chinese teachers and they take classes in English," she said. Though the university has indicated that the classes would be conducted afresh once students return, no time-frame has yet been given. "It seems there are no patients in Wuhan now. That''s what we have been told", she said adding the flight services have to commence first.
Health officials in China on Sunday announced the last COVID-19 patient in Wuhan has been discharged and the hospitals in the epicentre of the global pandemic have no coronavirus cases for the first time after more than three months of arduous battle against the deadly virus that infected over 80,000 people on the mainland.
The toll in Wuhan has recently been revised to 3,869. Asked how she was passing her free time since recovering from the disease, the Keralite said she was fond of cooking and been helping out her mother in preparing mouth-watering dishes.
"I love cooking and in Wuhan hostel we have kitchen and I used to cook my meals. Now I assist my mother. We prepare samosas, cutlets and grilled chicken," she said. The student was admitted to the district hospital on January 27 after she informed medical officials about symptoms like sore throat and dry cough. Asked if she was scared when she tested positive, the medico replied in the negative. "When my sample result came, many people world over had recovered. I was not scared and I did not have any health issues either," she said.
While returning from Wuhan, Indian embassy officials had told her and others to inform officials in Kerala that they were from China. "We were asked to approach health officials in case of any symptoms of the virus besides being strictly following the 28 day home quarantine as stipulated by the Kerala government," she said.
The health department officials were in constant touch with her on a daily basis enquiring about her health. "When I developed sore throat and dry cough, they were immediately informed and an ambulance was sent to pick me from my house", the youngster said, recalling the turbulent times.
All praise for the Kerala Health department for the care and treatment, she said "Our health care system is very good and I got excellent treatment leading to my recovery. I did not have fever at all during my hospitalisation." Her classmate from Alappuzha and a senior from Kasaragod, who were the second and third positive cases in the country, have also recovered.
The state, which saw arrival of several people from COVID19-hit countries like Italy and Gulf region before the lockdown, reported more cases later, but did well to contain the spread with effective quarantine and treatment protocols, which have come in for praise.
As of Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in Kerala stood at 485 with 123 active patients. The COVID-19 first emerged in a food market in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, and later became a pandemic, affecting most parts of the world, including India.