Gaibandha's first two Covid-19 patients, an expatriate in the US and his mother, have recovered from the disease and returned home from the hospital recently.
Taking to The Daily Star, the mother and son told their story of winning the coronavirus battle.
Besides treatment, they managed to recover from the ailment by boosting immune system and with mental support, they said.
The 22-year old man, a fourth-year student of mechanical engineering at a US university, and his 49-year old mother have been living in New York for last 10 years. Recently they came to Bangladesh on an invitation to attend a relative's wedding. They landed in Dhaka on March 9 and went to Gaibandha the next day.
"From March 15 to 18, I had fever above a 100 degrees. From March 17 I began suffering from common cold symptoms. During these days, I took only paracetamol-500mg tablets. A day later, I started suffering from cough. However, from March 20 onwards, all my symptoms were gone," said the son.
"Since March 17, I also started suffering from fever and it rose above 102 degrees. On March 20, IEDCR staff came and took our samples. On March 23, we came to know that we were infected with coronavirus. I got very scared for my son but I did not lose my mental strength," said the mother.
"On March 27, doctors from Gaibandha, took us to isolation facilities at Gaibandha Sadar upazila health complex. At the hospital, the doctors, nurses, and others would talk to us from the windows of another building and over the phone, but no one would enter our rooms. We were provided with all types of medicines in our rooms and the doctors were always instructing us over the phone when to take any medicine. The hospital authorities served us good food and fruits, including lemons, twice a day," the son said.
"When we heard that two US expatriates had come to our town, we started looking them and found them at a home next to our Sadar Upazila Health Complex," said Mohammad Golam Mostafa, health and family planning officer of Gaibandha Sadar upazila.
"At the behest of a civil surgeon, I told our health workers to monitor them remotely to see if they have any symptoms of coronavirus infection. Their samples were then collected on March 20. When we came to know that their results were positive, we sent 6 health staff including doctors to quarantine since they had come to their contact earlier," he said
"Then we brought them to the hospital's isolation unit and began treating them according to the World Health Organization's protocol," said Mohammad Golam Mostafa.
"The patients' cooperation has been instrumental in our treatment. They had stayed in home quarantine since March 18. However, before that, the mother and son attended a marriage ceremony and also visited their relatives in Gazipur and Chapainawabganj. Three of their relatives who were in contact with them later tested corona positive including the bride. Three of them – the mother, son and the bride – have so far recovered from coronavirus and returned home recently," ABM Abu Hanif, a civil surgeon of Gaibandha, told The Daily Star
"We did not provide any medicine for Covid-19 treatment except symptomatic medications such as paracetamol-500mg, salbutamol-4mg, omeprazole 20mg, azithromycin 500mg, and anti-histamine tablets. We also provided oxygen to their rooms," said the civil surgeon.
"I have been taking treatment for asthma in New York since 2012," said the mother.
"At the hospital, our samples were tested again on April 4. The results came positive again. Later they collected samples again on April 8 and 13. This time, the results came negative and I got released on April 15. My son was released on April 8. Now we are doing fine," she also said.
"Our real battle had been fighting against the criticism of people, not against the disease. Some of our relatives and neighbors criticised and condemned us that we have spread coronavirus willingly," the mother said.
"But the good thing is that there are still more good people. During our illness, many of our relatives, well-wishers, including the doctors, civil surgeons, journalists and deputy commissioner stood beside us, and continuously encouraged us. Therefore, we did not lose our mental strength and recovered soon from coronavirus infection," the woman added.
So far 12 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Gaibandha. Among them, three have recovered and the other nine patients are being treated at isolation units of the hospital and at home in different areas in the district, said the civil surgeon.