New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The first person in the national capital, who defeated killer coronavirus, has planned to donate his plasma for the treatment of other COVID-19 patients. The Delhi based businessman Rohit Datta (45) told IANS that he had asked the concerned authorities for donating his plasma, but they said he was not eligible for doing so as of now. “I had donated blood before going to Italy. The doctors have said I can donate blood only after three months. As soon as the government allows me, the first thing I will do is to donate my plasma,” he said, adding “I have also donated in PM CARES fund.”
Sharing his experience he told IANS how it was to be the first ever patient in Delhi and to have defeated the virus. “I can never even forget those datelines,” he recalled his whirlwind business tour from Italy to Delhi via Vienna. “On February 25, I came back to Delhi via Vienna. When I landed in India I was fine,” he said.
When asked by IANS, why did he not quarantine after returning from abroad, Datta said, “I am not sure there was any advisory for people coming from Italy or any country other than China. I was not screened at the airport. I knew that a travel advisory was issued for people coming from China but not from Austria. When I was in Italy there was no case at all there, otherwise I would have stayed there only and not have come back to India. Why would I risk the life of my own family? I am a responsible person.”
The brave COVID survivor recalled the beginning of his ordeal as a COVID patient. “On February 25 when I came back to my residence from the airport around 9 p.m., I had fever and sore throat. I thought it was flu so I visited a nearby doctor who gave me some medicine. On February 28 it was my son’s twelfth birthday. I was feeling alright, therefore, I went for a small get together at the Hayat hotel. There were only a few people, including five of us (wife, two children and mother) and two of my friends,” he told IANS on reported accusation of throwing a party and spreading the infection. “When I came back home I was down with fever again,” he added.
“The next day on February 29, my wife and I went straight to Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital and requested test for coronavirus. By the time Italy also came under travel restrictions and I had fever and travel history, therefore they isolated me immediately in the hospital. On March 1, my report said I was positive for the disease, and was shifted to the Safdarjang Hospital. I was very scared but my doctor told me that I will be fine.”
Datta, however, blanched with fear when the doctor asked for contact history as he lived with his wife, two children and elderly mother. “My Family members also had to go for tests but with God’s grace every single person in my contact, including my own family, friends and employees tested negative. I was relieved and was feeling less guilty,” Datta said, holding tears in his eyes.
Talking about the physical suffering, Datta described, “I suffered from a severe cough and body ache. The facility at the Safdarjang hospital was beyond my expectations. It was clean and doctors visited timely, food and other facilities were also good. I got video calls from the Health Minister. He told me that the Prime Minister asked about my health. I was touched by this gesture,” he said.
Datta said his wife and mother literally cried when he returned from the hospital fit and fine after a long battle on March 14. “I wanted to hug my children but could not do so. I was advised for home isolation for the next 14 days,” said he.
He shared some of his bitter post corona experience too with IANS. He said he was stigmatised by the society and had to go through mental harassment besides fighting for his life. “I had to go through a lot of mental trauma that no one can imagine. I did not throw any party at all; my son had distributed candies in all sections of class 6 on his birthday, that’s all. People spread rumours that I went to Agra and infected others but I didn’t even cross Delhi border.
“Life was not easy after I was diagnosed with COVID-19. Because of rumours, there were scuffles in two Noida housing societies due to misinformation and two Noida schools were closed. I received phone calls in the middle of the night on which I was abused and harassed. People should not do such things without knowing the reality,” Datta told IANS.
Datta has fully recovered from the disease and is living a normal life. “I would suggest that people must take precautions. They should maintain a positive attitude that it gets cured. People should do some breathing exercises and Yoga. It helped me recover faster. After this pandemic gets over, I think people will find more reasons for being grateful to God,” Datta told IANS.
(Sfoorti Mishra can be contacted at [email protected])