Among the COVID 19 survivors in Kerala is a young couple who was allowed to keep their four-year-old daughter with them during their treatment at a hospital in Kottayam, about 140 km from state capital Thiruvananthapuram. The couple is now under a 14-day home quarantine as a precaution after they were discharged recently. "Follow what is told" and "trust the government" are some of advises they give as they recall their recovery. "Our doctors are in control," they say.
Earlier this month, the woman and her husband - along with their 4-year-old daughter - had gone to pick up her parents and brother from the airport in Kochi; they had arrived from Italy.
On March 8, the woman's parents tested positive. "The moment I got to know that they had tested positive, we called our local health inspector and informed him that we were with them. He got in touch with rest of the officials, required arrangements were made and we were taken to Kottayam Medical College in an ambulance," her husband recalled
"The first two days, I thought I would have a mental breakdown. On WhatsApp and other social media platforms, people were speaking such horrible things about our family. But then, we had the doctors, nurses, our church priests, my friends, local political leaders who kept calling us and encouraging us. That gave us some hope," he added.
"I must tell you... the treatment given by the government hospital in Kerala is top-notch, the way they took care of me and family, is brilliant. Almost every hour, I would have them call me and ask me if I needed anything," he said.
The couple was allowed to keep their 4-year-old child with them during their treatment.
The child, however, did not test positive. "This was a high-level decision taken by the medical board, involving senior doctors, to allow the child with the parents all through. She was anyway with parents, grandparents who had been infected. If she was separated from her parents, it would have weakened her. If she would have tested positive, her survival would have been very tough. For a small child, it's her parents that offer protection and safety net," District Medical Officer Dr Jacob Varghese explained to NDTV.
"Doctors said they were prepared and competent to take care of the child, no matter what happened," he added. The child continues to be healthy, and with parents, now at home.
The woman's parents and brother who had returned from Italy, admitted in Pathanamthitta, 50 km from Kottayam, have tested negative twice, confirm health officials. And her 86-year-old and 92-year-old grandparents - who had tested positive for COVID 19 and were critical - have now tested negative for the first time. More medical tests are awaited.
"Now that we two have recovered, I want to tell people that trust the government and follow whatever they are saying. For those who have tested positive, we want to put our example forward and tell them, our doctors are in control and can deal with any situation. Follow what is being told," said the man who lives in Kottayam along with his family.