COVID-19: Victim says it is an invisible enemy - GulfToday

COVID-19: Victim says it is an invisible enemy


DHA medical team attends to mild COVID-19-stricken Jolly Milette Santos-Zulueta at a hotel near Al Maktoum International Airport.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Wicked SARS-CoV2 still is very much around, slaying its prey smartly that we should be smarter to defeat it. Listen to your body. Never hesitate to ask for help and more importantly for medical advice.

We are also going to quash this contagion, which continually quakes the world with 6,714,335 cases as of 7:30 a.m. GMT on June 5 (Friday) if, as Filipinos say, “Walang iwanan.”

Figuratively translated: “Let’s stick together.”

Truth is, no matter how pitch black the picture is, the World Health Organisation, ever since it started recording the SAR-CoV2-caused Novel Coronavirus, has data-ed more recoveries than deaths, globally.

For instance, of the 6,714,335 cases as of 7:30 GMT on Friday, recoveries far surpassed the deaths at 3,261,276 vis-a-vis 393,408.

Over in the UAE and in the same time frame, among the 19,572 recovered of 37,018 cases were four flatmates and their frequent young family of three visitors, including an 11-month old baby.

One of the seven is Jolly Milette Santos-Zulueta, the last to be certified with a clean bill of health “because I was experiencing throat irritation the medical team did not want me to discharge yet.”

The Dubai resident is very well aware of COVID-19; the topic having become almost a daily fare within the workplace alongside the employer, and with flatmates since January when international and local media got wound of it.

“But, this invisible enemy attacks anyone.  It attacks differently from one person to another,” Zulueta told Gulf Today in a mix of Filipino and English on Thursday evening.

She hurriedly added: “And, we really do not know who the carrier is.”

Zulueta works as the operations manager of a flower shop in Dubai. From March 18, like the majority of the workforce across the country, she has been on remote work, even isolating herself from the nine-member household: “I have never gone even for groceries. We assigned two of our flatmates for errands.”

Then, two of their flatmates reported back to work, upon the lockdown ease in late April: “Both got sick. According to the doctor of the first patient, she was suffering from UTI. The diagnosis for the second patient was dry cough.”

Thereafter, Zulueta who experiences periodic vertigo and menopausal syndrome went through four nights of dizziness, six nights of chills sans fever, one night of a bout with difficulty in breathing, and two mornings of dry and itchy throat.

Panic struck the household “even as (Dubai Health Authority) was quick to quarantine our two flatmates when they turned positive. We alerted our building security and management told us to just stay home for 14 days while they requested for disinfection from the municipality.”

Zulueta got perplexed when eventually, she lost her sense of smell and taste.

With her employer assisting and guiding the household and the frequent visiting young family, the next move was swab tests at the Al Badaa Health Centre where they were instructed to download from their mobile phones the DHA and Al Hosn apps as COVID19-related tools, where swab test results are going to be posted.

On May 20, Zulueta, a flatmate and the family received the DHA call. Those who tested negative were not contacted.

Claiming she was bewildered and shocked that day, Zulueta added: “What happened to us was ‘hawa-hawa’ (one person infecting the other). I thought I was suffering from vertigo and the normal signs of menopause.

“My sister was coughing so bad. She tested negative. Good thing my husband was also negative.”

Nope, they were not taken to Rashid Hospital but to a hotel “near the Al Maktoum Airport” for they were determined to be “Mild COVID-19 Patients” based on consequent in-depth question-and-answer by the medical team. None was also chronically ill.

“We are all grateful to DHA. If I may say that government shouldered everything. We are grateful to Drs. Hanan Obaid, Fatima Al Sharaf, Ahmad Saleh, Eiman Ghaleb Ali Saeed and Cibi Isaac,” Zulueta said, adding these doctors and nurses on alternate schedules visited them every day for monitoring and any necessary medications.

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