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Don’t panic but stay safe, says doctor who recovered from COVID-19

The Peninsula

People should not panic but follow the precautionary measure by the government to limit the spread of COVID-19, says doctor who recovered from virus in Qatar.

Dr Muthana Al Salihi, a Pediatric Surgeon at Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medicine, has no clue how he got infected and urge people not to underestimate COVID-19 as anyone can get infected.

“People should not be worried or terrified about COVID-19. Only a very few percentage of people get to a severe condition and mortality rate due to the disease. But we should not underestimate because the virus is highly infectious. People should strictly follow guidelines set by the Ministry of Public Health and the government, such as wearing face masks, social distancing among others and stay at home as much as possible,” he told The Peninsula.

Dr. Al Salihi also lauded the efforts taken by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country by imposing precautionary measures such as contact tracking of infected people.

Dr Al Salihi, an Iraqi national working with HMC for 15 years said: “I’m speaking here in patient perspective. I received the best care that maybe no one can receive from their own country. I am sure that many people cannot receive this kind of care even in their home countries. I am very grateful to the government, Ministry of Public Health, doctors, nurses and others for the exceptional care given.”

Dr Al Salihi, is preparing to resume work after Eid holidays and narrated his ‘smooth’ journey from being sick to recovery.

It all started on April 12 for Dr Al Salihi with cold-like symptoms including back pain and sore throat. But within three days, he lost smell and taste sensations totally which made him to become worried. As he knew it was one of the symptoms of the COVID-19.

Then he developed a cough and chest pain.

On April 18, Dr Al Salihi, was taken to HMC’s Communicable Disease Center (CDC) where his medical and travel history were noted and a swab was taken.

“On April 19, an official from MoPH called, asked some general questions and broke the news that my test was positive. He also enquired who I lived with and asked to isolate myself,” said Dr Salihi.

He was admitted at CDC after some investigations it showed that he had pneumonia. He condition was moderate.

“I was put on a treatment protocol for pneumonia and started medication. There were five types of medication and two of them were antibiotics. They also treated me with an antimalarial drug and two antiviral medicines—Azithromycin, Ceftriaxone, Hydroxy chloroquine, Tamiflu and Kaletra,” said Dr Dr Al Salihi.

“After five days. My condition improved. Then I was tested negative twice for COVID-19. As per protocol if you have two negative swabs in a -24 hours gap, it means that you are cured,” he said.

Dr Al Salihi stayed in the CDC for nine days before he was discharged and was asked to do self-isolation for another 14 days.

All the people that he had contact with including family members and colleagues were traced and tested but none of them tested positive for COVID-19.


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