A 40-year-old journalist in Mumbai, who was COVID-19 positive and had reduced oxygen saturation, recovered after he was injected with an arthritis drug, a hospital said on Tuesday, enhancing hopes of finding treatment for the disease that has killed lakhs across the world.
Vishal Singh, a reporter with a leading publication in Mumbai, has been on the field since Day 1 of the lockdown. He narrated his experience of fighting Covid19 at one of the biggest dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in Mumbai - the KEM Hospital.
The hospital has the highest number of critical cases of coronavirus.
In a video sent out by the KEM hospital, Mr Singh's line of treatment was narrated along with an interview of the reporter himself.
Mr Singh, who had fever and breathlessness for seven days, was admitted on May 23. He was diagnosed as having COVID pneumonia and reduced oxygen saturation.
"Since the lockdown started I have been tested twice for coronavirus because I have been working continuously. Both the times, I tested negative. But this time I got fever and could not recover naturally. My blood test showed that my oxygen saturation was very low and I was taken to the ICU," he said.
As his oxygen levels fell sharply, he was given an injection of Tocilizumab, an arthritis drug, along with continued standard treatment.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started clinical trials of Tocilizumab to fight COVID-19 in March.
According to the KEM Hospital authorities, Mr Singh's condition improved within days. He tested negative for coronavirus and was discharged on June 5.
"The doctors and nurses here are working very hard to save lives. The patient load is much higher than the staff strength. I was treated well here and I have recovered well," he said.
Mumbai, the country's financial, art and entertainment capital, today logged 51,000 coronavirus cases – around 700 more than China's Wuhan, where the global pandemic first surfaced in December. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wuhan is 50,333, including 3,869 fatalities.
Maharashtra, the country's biggest coronavirus hotspot, meanwhile, stands at 90,000 cases, way ahead of the 84,000-plus cases in China.