Coronavirus in UAE: Indian social worker recovers from Covid-19, discharged from hospital

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Health workers gave him a standing ovation for his tireless efforts to help the needy during the crisis.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 18 Apr 2020, 2:25 PM

Last updated: Sat 18 Apr 2020, 4:30 PM

Indian social worker Naseer Vatanappally, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month, has fully recovered from the infection and was discharged from the hospital on Saturday.
As he left Medeor Hospital, health workers gave him a standing ovation for his tireless efforts to help the needy during the crisis.

Vatanappally was helping thousands residents of Al Naif and Al Ras with supplies of food and other essential matters when he was found to be Covid-19-positive.

But being admitted to a hospital did not stop him from extending support. Right from his hospital bed, he worked for over 12 hours a day attending to the needs of hundreds of people who reached him over the phone seeking help.

"I was extremely sad to hear about my result. I wanted to help more people. Once I felt that I have failed. But then, I realised that I should not lose my hope. I started attending to each case over the phone and connecting with the government authorities," Vatanappally said.
He remained in touch with all the volunteers and connected with the authorities over WhatsApp and Zoom conferences.  

"I used to get over hundred calls a day. More people used to message me on WhatsApp requesting for help. I attended to each case. I passed the information to DHA and our group of volunteers. They had tried to reach maximum people," he added.

Now that he's out of the hospital, he is ready to get right back into volunteer work.

"I will start working in the affected areas. There are a lot of things that we need to do. Doctors have advised me to wear an N95 mask and gloves. I will be careful now and follow their instructions," Vatanappally said.

As he recalled his experience while undergoing treatment, he hailed healthcare professionals as "the real heroes".

"I am extremely grateful to the doctors, nurses and the staff of the hospital. They treated me with the utmost care. I was deeply hurt to see the hardships they had to undergo. Donned in PPE, covering their face with an N-95 mask and goggles, it is a tough job," he said.

"Despite these difficulties, they were very helpful. They always motivated me and said that there is nothing to be afraid of. Even the doctors were very supportive."

Vatanappally added that one should not be afraid of the infection and stay strong.  "There is no need to panic. The disease is only fatal for those with underlying diseases. But it doesn't mean that we can take it lightly. We should be cautious and follow government instructions."

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