Actress Zoa Morani who battled COVID-19 and was admitted to a Mumbai hospital has recovered now and is back home. She shared her experience of the hospital after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, her symptoms and the way the medical staff and the municipal authorities took extra care to make the patients comfortable.
"It started with a fever, and a weird kind of tiredness. I didn't give it any importance for two to three days, but then I developed a cough and chest congestion. It didn't feel like a normal flu, so I went to my doctor," Ms Morani told NDTV.
The number of coronavirus cases in India has climbed to 15,712, which includes 507 deaths, the Union Health Ministry said today. Worldwide, more than 2,289,500 people have tested positive for the highly contagious virus and more than 1,57,500 have died.
"We were all very scared, especially my parents who hoped that it was just another viral flu. However, I had isolated myself (even before the tests). But the only way out of it was to go get tested," she added.
Ms Morani's father, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, and her sister Shaza also tested positive for the virus and were admitted to the hospital. They both have also been discharged now.
While Shaza had returned from Sri Lanka in the first week of March, Zoa Morani had come back from Rajasthan around mid-March.
Zoa Morani said when she went for the test, she found everything to be systematic and "the doctors were very sensitive and receiving. They knew what they were doing. I felt safer being in the hospital."
When her test results came back positive, the laboratory informed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai who then called her, providing information about hospitals and asking questions abut her travel history and family. "They later sanitised the whole house, the building and the road," Ms Morani said.
The actress, who started her career in the film industry as an assistant director for the 2007 film "Om Shanti Om", said practising Yoga over the past few years helped her maintain calm during the crisis situation.
"Ashtanga Yoga practise helped me a lot in being positive while in hospital... I did breathing exercises, which kept me calm," she added.
The actress said her mobile phone also helped as she could stay in touch with her family while in the hospital.
"My father also got back from the hospital after nine days. He had tested positive after five days in the hospital," she informed.
"All of us have been asked to live separately, and not meet my mother (who tested negative for coronavirus). We have been asked to stay in isolation for 14 days," Ms Morani added.
The actress said she cannot wait to get back to the set and start working once the pandemic is over. "I am totally waiting to get to the set... and hug all my friends. Suddenly, little things have become so meaningful."
The biggest learning from the whole experience, Ms Morani said, was getting to know the importance of controlling your mind, without depending on anyone else. "You need to know how to deal with your emotions... and be your best friend. I have learnt that over the past few years."
Zoa Morani made her acting debut with the 2011 film "Always Kabhi Kabhi", produced by Shah Rukh Khan. She has also appeared in Kunal Kemmu's film "Bhaag Johnny". Her father Karim Morani has produced many Bollywood films such as "Ra.One", "Chennai Express", "Happy New Year" and "Dilwale".