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Father-son duo recovers after contracting Covid-19 while volunteering in Dubai

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on July 3, 2020 | Last updated on July 3, 2020 at 06.41 am

Buhari bin Abdul Qadir and his son Bazil Zaman bin Buhari.

Buhari and Bazil with other volunteers.

Indian social worker Buhari bin Abdul Qadir and his 18-year-old son call it a 'life-changing experience'

Indian social worker Buhari bin Abdul Qadir and his son Bazil Zaman bin Buhari are viewing life differently now after the father-son duo has finally recovered from Covid-19.

Buhari, who hails from Kerala, is affiliated to several charity organisations and contracted the disease in May while helping those in need.

Roping his 18-year-old son, who was vacationing in Dubai that time, in all his social welfare activities, Buhari feels the whole experience has been life changing in many ways for both of them.

He said: "My son is studying engineering in Kerala and came to Dubai to spend time with me during his holidays. However, he got stuck here due to the travel restrictions announced after the outbreak of the pandemic. So, whenever I would go out, he accompanied me. A lot of people used to ask not to take my son along as he might contract the virus. But my son was keen on joining in and so was I. I felt it would be a learning experience for him. Helping and assisting people in need, especially in these unprecedented times, was like a rare opportunity."

Buhari, who is associated with the All Kerala Colleges Alumni Forum (AKCAF) volunteer group, worked day and night with different teams at various locations in the city.

He visited high risk areas like Naif and Warsan to organise awareness programmes, assemble accommodation arrangement for Covid-19 patients and collecting data from them, shifting people to quarantine centres and distributing food.

But experiencing the disease first-hand has surely changed his perspective.

"When you are helping others, you are viewing things from a distance. But to be infected yourself and to know that your loved one is also suffering is quite a different feeling. I started developing symptoms during Ramadan. Perhaps my immunity was low. I showed mild symptoms but brushed it off as normal fever and took paracetamol. Later, the day when my son was leaving for India, I got my results and realised that I had contracted the disease", said Buhari.

While his wife, family and friends had been instrumental in helping him stay optimistic, the  staff at Medeor hospital left no stone unturned aiding his speedy recovery, said Buhari.


"I used to counsel Covid-19 patients. But when I was infected, at some point I really felt low and thought this might just be the end. But the positive vibes that I got from people around me made me realise I should not lose hope. Good thoughts can bring strength to your body, just as good food can."

He added: "I have emerged stronger, having experienced first-hand what it means to be in an isolation ward and to see other patients closely who were on ventilator. Resilience, optimism and being under good medical care can cure anybody. Contracting the disease does not mean the end of the world."

On the other hand, in Kerala, Bazil was taken to the Kannur Medical College right from the airport, after he informed the authorities there that he was in touch with a primary contact.

Bazil said: "When I was at the airport in Dubai, my father informed me that his result was positive. But my rapid test here showed Covid-19 negative. So I got a clearance. But I was dressed in personal protective equipment suit anyway. Once I reached my home state I informed the authorities there and then I was taken to a facility immediately. I didn't even collect my baggage. A couple of days later my test results showed that I was Covid-19 positive. So after 17 days of isolation at the medical centre and another 14 days of quarantine at a hotel, I was finally released recently."

He added: "I was apprehensive initially when I used to go out with my father and help in food distribution and other work but now it's an experience that I will remember for a lifetime."

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