Nepal's fourth COVID-19 patient says he is confident of recovery

"I was shocked to learn that I had contracted infection when the sample of my throat swab tested positive for COVID-19," the 34-year-old patient who was diagnosed on Friday, shared from the isolation ward of Seti Provincial Hospital, Dhangadhi.

The patient who had recently returned from Dubai, tested positive for the coronavirus contagion, becoming the fourth Nepali to have contracted the disease that has forced more than three billion people across the world to remain under lockdown.

"About four-and-a-half years ago, I went to the United Arab Emirates for foreign employment," he told THT's Dhangadhi correspondent, Tekendra Deuba. "I made up my mind to come back home when the company I was employed in offered one-month home leave on the second week of March." He added that he was worried about making it back home since Nepal-bound flights from gulf countries were suspended.

He and a friend planned to fly to Delhi when they learnt that regular flights to Indian capital city of New Delhi were available. "We reached Delhi via Fly Emirates and stayed at the Indian International airport for six hours before taking a regular flight to Kathmandu, on March 20."

After they arrived in Kathmandu, they stayed at his maternal uncle's home while the friend parted to his relatives' home. "The following day, when there were no flights available from Kathmandu to Dhangadhi, I flew to Nepalgunj on a Buddha Air flight. From Nepalgunj, I took a Mahendranagar-bound local bus and alighted at Attariya and again took Magic van to reach Dhangadhi Chauraha. From there I took an auto-rickshaw to home."

The 34-year-old shared that he visited his friends for and hung around with them for two days. He emphasised that although he had not developed any symptoms of COVID-19 till then, he had taken cautionary steps -- compulsorily wearing mask while meeting with friends and relatives.

It was only on March 24 that he experienced some health issues. The person then consulted with doctors at Seti Provincial Hospital where he was immediately taken in the isolation ward and then a sample of his throat swab was sent to National Public Health Laboratory for the COVID-19 test.

From his isolation ward at the hospital, the COVID-19 patient shared that he has received a very little medical attention since the lab report of his throat swab became public.

His family members bring him the required items such as water heater since hot water was not available at the hospital.

The fourth person to have tested positive for the infection, the man shared with Deuba, his hope of getting better soon and going back home.  "I am indeed very confident of recovery."