Muttrah-based businessman's world turns upside down due to COVID-19
May 22, 2020 | 3:46 PM
by Times News Service

Muscat: He began narrating his story in a heartbroken tone of voice, “I lost my father..."

The heart-gripping story of Muttrah-based Keyur Kumar began a few hours before the Supreme Committee, in-charge of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, called for shutting down of shops.

A few days before the decision and as well as on the same the shops were closing down, there were a lot of customers visiting Kumar's textile shop in Muttrah Souq.

"I was busy dealing with customers, delivering some goods and handling the cash as well," Kumar recollects.

"As the shop is quite close to our home, I didn’t have to travel far during this period. And not even once did anyone, including me, thought that I might have been infected with COVID-19. It might have been through the money that I had been handling while working or through a customer who came into our store."

A day later, Kumar began feeling feverish and under the weather. Like any sensible person would do, Kumar, too, visited a pharmacy and was prescribed painkiller and antibiotic medicines.

"The fever, however, persisted for three days. My father, then, took me to a clinic. The doctor gave me an antibiotic and painkiller injection without conducting any tests. Neither did the doctor advise me to visit the nearest health institution for sample-testing nor asked me to isolate myself as a precaution."

"On the fourth day, with the fever still burning within me, I visited a health centre and finally, that is when sample-testing was done. Two days later, I was tested positive for coronavirus and was asked to admit myself in the hospital."

Kumar said, "The worry for my family including my parents, wife and a little daughter constantly prevailed in my thoughts. It wasn't long after, my family too was tested. All except my daughter were tested positive. My mother and wife were kept under home isolation."

Unfortunately, Kumar's father wasn't in his best condition as he was already suffering from diabetics and high blood pressure. As Kumar was getting ready to discharge from the hospital, a new chapter was about to begin for his father.

"The x-ray and blood tests weren’t reassuring so my father was transferred to the ICU in the Royal Hospital. He underwent dialysis and was later put on a ventilator for five days."

"We weren't allowed to visit my father and I remember staying up, waiting for when the hospital calls," Kumar added.

"My father's condition started to get stable for two or three days. But that joy was short-lived. On the ninth day, we received a call from the hospital saying that his condition was deteriorating. He was having trouble while breathing and went into a coma. After that, we didn’t receive any calls for two days until the last call which informed us that my father has passed away," Kumar said.

"I am filled with regret and grief as I was the one who transmitted the infection to my father," said the guilt-ridden son.

Kumar regrets not having self-isolated himself the moment he felt the symptoms, he believes that way he could have prevented his father's untimely death.

“I advise my family, friends and everyone around me to not to take this disease lightly, adhere to the precautionary measures and maintain hand-hygiene for their safety”.

Kumar, now, awaits his appointment to donate blood which may be used in a plasma treatment for those infected with COVID-19.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down and because of it, some have even lost their loved ones. I keep hoping that all this will come to an end and our lives would get back to normal, be it by treatment or by learning to coexist," Kumar concludes.

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