Meet Santhosh Kumar, the health official who survived COVID-19

Santhosh Kumar
Health department officials handing over a kit of essential commodities to Santhosh Kumar (R) when he is back home after being cured of the disease.
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Santhosh Kumar, the junior health inspector at the Chowara primary health centre was one of frontline warriors who had tested positive for the COVID-19. A native of Parasala in Thiruvananthapuram, Santhosh Kumar was infected while deployed at the Cochin International Airport to screen the passengers.

Santhosh, who defeated the virus, got discharged from the Ernakulam Medical College on April 15. His tale of survival would definitely be an inspiration for many who are struggling to cope up with the COVID-19 situation. He would be in quarantine until 24 April at his quarters in Kalady. Santhosh Kumar says he was excited to inform his wife Jeena that he has been completely cured of the disease. Santhosh confidently adds that he would be back in action, to break the chain, as soon as he completes his quarantine period.

He had been on duty at the airport on March 19 and 21. He stayed at the office quarters the next day as it was Janata curfew. He began running a mild temperature on March 23 and was in home quarantine. He developed high fever and dry cough on March 27. He gave the sample at the hospital in Aluva on March 28 and got admitted at the Ernakulam medical college that day itself. Santhosh then spent the next 18 days in the corona virus ward in the hospital.

Santhosh admits that he was a bit tensed in the beginning. However, he soon gained confidence that he would survive it. The health official vouches for the impeccable service and treatment that he received at the Ernakulam Medical College hospital. Health minister KK Shailaja and many senior officials at the health department had constantly been in touch with Santhosh to enquire about his health.

But, it was only later that Santhosh informed his family that he had tested positive for corona virus. He says he didn’t want his wife and kids, who are in Thiruvananthapuram, to get worried.

All the officials who had worked with Santhosh at the airport were in home quarantine for the stipulated period. Their samples too were tested; thankfully none of them was infected. The samples of those who worked at the Chowara health centre too came negative. Santhosh says he felt relieved and happy when all the other samples tested negative as he was determined not to infect anyone else.

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