I did not panic, nor hide my illness, I saved my hometown, says first Covid patient | Sunday Observer

I did not panic, nor hide my illness, I saved my hometown, says first Covid patient

The first Sri Lankan contacted with COVID-19 and who recovered a few weeks ago, Jayantha Ranasinghe, a 58-year old tourist guide shared his experience as a COVID-19 patient last week on social media. Ranasinghe was identified as a COVID-19 patient on March 11, following the detection of suspicious symptoms by his family doctor in Mattegoda.

As per the doctor’s instructions he was admitted to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (IDH) where he was diagnosed COVID-19 positive.

“This is something I must tell. I was the first local COVID-19 patient. When I was admitted to the hospital, the medicine was ready, Personal Protection Equipments (PPE) were there. Therefore I must thank the health authorities, the President, Prime Minister, Army Commander, Deputy Inspector General and Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi for their proactiveness” Ranasinghe said.

He explained the difficulties he went through because of the illness during the stay at the hospital. “When I wanted to get off the bed I had to sit and wait for a while before getting off. I was walking down to the bathroom sliding against the wall, otherwise, I could get tired” he said.

Another issue Ranasinghe faced was the difficulty to eat food. He could only eat a yogurt or a banana. “I was unable to swallow anything. My throat was completely blocked. Doctor ErangaNarangoda, who was the medical officer in charge, brought us home-made porridge daily. I survived because of that porridge brought by the doctor himself. They also gave us coriander prepared by the Hospital staff”, he explained how the IDH staff supported him and other COVID-19 patients going beyond their duty.

“Within 18 days I was fully recovered. After several tests, doctors confirmed that the virus has been completely removed from my body,” he said.

Ranasinghe also explained how he engaged in meditation sessions under the guidance of a Buddhist monk. “This is a deadly disease. There is no cure for this and I survived because of my strong immune system. I exercised daily for 30 minutes. Also, I had local traditional food most of the time. Jak-fruit is my favourite. It gives a boost to the immune system. Also, I do not smoke. I think it helped to cure the decease” he said.

Ranasinghe is a proud citizen now about his responsible behaviour and his family members as they could stop the spread of the virus from that cluster. “I saved my family members. I met my doctor and acted according to his advice. I did not panic. I did not hide. Therefore I could save my hometown, Mattegoda” he said.

While thanking everyone including the medical and health staff at IDH who supported him to get cured, he requested the public to come forward if any symptom of the decease is detected.

“I request everyone not to hide and not to be afraid of the decease. I ask them to come forward to protect their loved ones, neighbours and the country” he said.