UAE combats coronavirus: Covid-19 survivors praise Dubai's care
Dubai - Expats share their journey of recovery after testing positive for coronavirus.
For most people, getting tested positive for Covid-19 is compared to their worst nightmares coming true. With 2.7 million cases and a death toll of over 191,000 people, it is hard to stay confident when medical teams hand over a positive test result to those infected. However, five patients who have recently recovered from the disease in the UAE have said it is possible to beat the deadly disease.
Hearts filled with gratitude, the Covid-19 survivors said their recovery would not have been possible if not for the courage given to them by local medical authorities, doctors, nurses and cleaners who swept their hospital rooms clean.
Here are some inspiring stories of grit, determination, and gratitude from five survivors:
Muzammil Moosa, 39, Indian
After testing positive, the owner of an advertising agency, Muzammil Moosa, was admitted to a Dubai government healthcare facility on March 28. He returned home, completely cured of the coronavirus, thanks to the benevolence shown by the government. He first began showing symptoms on March 27.
"I had a small fever that got increasingly bad overnight. I could barely open my eyes due to the fever," Moosa told Khaleej Times. "I have a wife, Nada Hamza, and two kids - Nafisa Muzammil and Ahmed Zaki. I have no pre-existing conditions," he added. After a routine check-up, Moosa's swab tests were taken by the hospital.
"When I was told that I'd been tested positive, a massive fear gripped over me. I was worried for my life," he said. Moosa was moved to intensive care as he developed pneumonia.
"The nurses and doctors gave me a lot of confidence, and they assisted in moving my family to a quarantine facility in a Sharjah-based hotel because I live in Sharjah," he said.
Once his condition improved, he was moved to a general ward, and later, he was moved to another isolation facility.
"The facilities there were incredible. The accommodation was free, there was a television, fridge and kettle and food was served three times a day. When they realised I wasn't enjoying the food, they gave me Kerala cuisine since I am from the South Indian state. I could order whatever I wanted from a supermarket downstairs as well," he explained.
Praising the service, Moosa said he returned home in a Tesla limousine. "When I got out, I saw a lot of negative news in the media about this. I want to tell people that the Dubai Government did its very best to save my life. I feel like people are not aware of the treatment we are receiving, especially expats," he added. He is now serving mandatory home quarantine, while his wife and kids continue to remain in another facility, till the isolation period is over.
Aeron Ainza, 29, Filipino
A resident of Dubai for three years, Aeron Ainza is an accountant. His wife is a nurse with the Dubai Health Authority and he was tested positive on March 29. He was discharged from the Al Warsan Hospitality and Welfare Centre on April 22. "I had a small fever and since my wife is a nurse, I feared the worst."
After getting his tests done at a primary health care centre in Mankhool, Ainza tested positive and was immediately transferred to Al Warsan facility since he showed mild symptoms. "The service here has been great, and I want to thank the doctors and nurses who treated me," he said.
When asked what is the first thing he wants to do when he heads back home, he said: "I can't wait to see my wife. She has been working tirelessly during this time and has kept a check on me through her colleagues at the DHA," he added.
Umar Kattemane, 28, Indian
A Dubai resident for three years, Umar works as a technician at Dubai Airport. "I got my result on March 31 and I did fear the worst. I had terrible muscle pain and a sore throat," said Umar.
He too was transferred to Al Warsan Hospitality and Welfare Centre. "Initially, it was exhausting and I was really worried that I would never get cured. But thanks to God, I have been cured today, and I am really thankful to the DHA, doctors, nurses and the facility management," he said. "They treated us like family and not a patient," added Umar.
Martin Juco, 36, Filipino
When Martin Juco was admitted to the Warsan facility, he suffered a terrible throat ache and body pains. "I have spent 17 days in isolation and it has been really challenging. But every doctor, nurse and even the facility staff here has been so supportive," he said.
From food to entertainment to free WiFi, he said he felt no shortage in the care that was provided to him. "Now, I can proudly tell I am a Covid-19 survivor," said Juco.
When asked what he wants to do when he gets back home, Martin said, "When I get back home, I intend on eating all my favourite food. I've missed it."
Abdul Fathah, 28, Indian
"When I tested positive, I'd given everything up to God. However, I have been cured now, and once I complete the 14-day mandatory quarantine, I want to serve by participating in volunteer efforts," he said.
Fathah said the tireless efforts of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), volunteers and the entire medical team gave him the strength to recover. The centre provides free treatment, WiFi, entertainment and counselling. "I did not feel like I was away from home," he added.