The number of positive coronavirus cases is increasing across the country, with each passing day. As the nation registered over 24 lakh confirmed cases, as on Thursday afternoon, it is to be noted that almost 17 lakh individuals have successfully won the battle against the virus. Breaking the social stigma attached to the disease, several people who had recovered from the infection, have come forward to narrate their experiences. Closer home, Ravi Kanth, a techie from Vizag, has been creating awareness on ways to face COVID-19, post his recovery.
Ravi Kanth works as a Senior Manager at Fluent Grid Limited, an IT company based in Vizag. When asked what made him come out to share his story with Yo! Vizag, the techie says, “A few months ago, I happened to speak with a friend of mine who had recovered from the infection. During our conversation, I suggested to him that it will be useful for others if he could shed light on his road to recovery for COVID-19. However, he seemed reluctant to divulge any details. As fate would have it, I tested positive for COVID-19 in July. Taking it as a god-sent opportunity, I have decided to educate the people around me, thereby preparing them to fight the pandemic.”
It was on 26 June, Ravi Kanth had experienced severe fever and cold. Three days later, he lost his sense of smell. Having known that these symptoms resemble the infection, he got himself tested at a mobile sampling centre on 2 July. Explaining the reason behind waiting for six days to get the tests done, the Senior Manager shares that he had updated his symptoms on Aarogya Setu and Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) mobile applications. “I was told that someone from the ministry would get in touch with me. At that point in time, I was not aware of the location of testing centres too. Luckily, through a friend of mine, I was able to give my samples at a mobile testing centre,” he adds.
On 6 July, a team from the corporation had visited his home and informed that he tested positive. Sharing those moments, Ravi recalls, “Despite knowing that loss of smell is a symptom of COVID-19, I felt a little anxious on that day. Dressed in a PPE kit, I was taken to GVP Hospital for further testing, along with 5 other individuals in the ambulance. Throughout my journey to the hospital, I was sweating profusely. That reminded me of all the doctors and paramedics, who have been attending the patients, wearing the PPE kits throughout the day. I couldn’t be more thankful to all the healthcare professionals standing on the front line to serve the public.”
The techie from Vizag was shifted later in the day to AP Tribal Welfare Boys Hostel, a COVID Care Centre (CCC). Mr Kanth was quarantined at the facility until 13 July. Elaborating on his brief stay at the CCC, he says, “The facility was relatively new when compared to other CCCs. By the day I was admitted, there were hardly 20 people. I stayed in a 34-bedded dormitory room. Our diet included rice, curries, along with boiled eggs, Ragi malt, fruits, and supplements – multi-vitamin tablets. During the initial days, the CCC was decently maintained. However, hygiene went downhill towards the fad end of the week, as the more patients began dropping by the centre.”
Mr Kanth was discharged from the facility on 13 July. After home quarantining for a week, he got back to work. In order to prepare the people around him to fight the disease, he began several awareness activities. Sharing his motto behind this initiative, he explains, “When the virus had hit me, I didn’t know whom to approach and where to go for testing. I wasn’t aware of what to carry along with me when I was asked to isolate at a quarantine facility. Post my discharge from the centre, I realised that even the ones who are educated are clueless about the process. So, I began sharing my learnings. Also, we have been creating posters stating specific aspects of the disease and its cure- the symptoms, usage of a pulse oximeter, and types of testing methods among others.” Taking his journey forward, Mr Kanth concludes hoping that his effort will help at least a few others like him.