Assam’s first COVID-19 patient, a 52-year-old man suffering from cancer and diabetes, has recovered from the disease after undergoing treatment for over a month. His recovery, doctors say, is remarkable as his ailments made him more vulnerable.
A resident of Karimganj district in Barak Valley, the man is a senior member of the Tablighi Jamaat. He was a madrasa teacher and ran a small business. He was found to be suffering from blood cancer in February.
On March 5, amid his cancer treatment, he attended the Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi, and upon his return, tested positive for COVID-19. On March 31, the man was declared the state’s first coronavirus patient and admitted to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH).
“It was a tough time for the family. Me and my brother took him to the SMCH that day and we were quarantined after he tested positive. Fortunately, we tested negative, and so did other members of our family,” his son told The Indian Express over the phone.
The patient was discharged Wednesday and sent for observation for 14 days at a hospital close to his residence. “We were told that blood cancer made his situation worse. But by God’s grace he made it through. Now the cancer treatment will continue,” his son said.
Dr Babul Bezbaruah, principal of SMCH, said the man’s treatment was “very difficult”, with his condition deteriorating in mid-April. Dr Bezbaruah said a high-level team was constituted to advise on his treatment and monitor the prognosis on a day-to-day basis. “It should be a case for research. He was suffering from leukemia — a generalised and not localised cancer-which made his condition complicated. His immunity was low and he was already taking anti-cancer drugs,” Dr Bezbaruah said.
As of Thursday afternoon, a total of 45 patients have reported positive for the coronavirus in Assam. Thirty-four of them have been discharged, 10 are being treated, and one has died.