Sanitation worker returns home after 52-day hospitalisation for COVID-19

Noida: “I could not sleep at nights and wondered what would my daughters and I do if anything happened to him,” says Sapna Panda, whose husband Trimur Panda returned home on Tuesday after a 52-day hospitalisation due to COVID-19.

Panda (55), who worked as a sanitation worker in a private school and caretaker at a house, lives with his wife Sapna, a domestic help, and two daughters aged 15 and 18 and was hospitalised with co-morbid conditions.

The family is relieved now as he returned home and his treatment at a private hospital in Greater Noida was also done free of charge, courtesy the intervention of the Uttar Pradesh government and the private institute.

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“He had contracted coronavirus in April after which we struggled to get him admitted to a hospital for treatment amid a shortage of hospital beds. We tried at multiple places but finally got him admitted to Sharda Hospital where he stayed for 52 days and has returned home now healthy,” Sapna told PTI.

Trimur said he felt really good to be back at home and to be with his wife and daughters although he experienced slight weakness.

“I was of course worried during my stay at the hospital. I would often think if I am going to survive or would meet my end within the confines of the hospital,” Trimur, overwhelmed with emotion, said.

The other concern that was giving the husband-wife duo, which hails from Odisha, sleepless nights, was the thought of the bill that they might have to be pay to the premium hospital.

“I was scared just thinking of the bill,” he said.

Sapna said she worked as domestic help in some houses in Noida but had hit a rough patch since the onset of the pandemic last year, that had left her jobless.

“I could not sleep at nights and wondered what would my daughters and I do if anything happened to him,” said Sapna, who had contracted the virus too and had to send their daughters to a friend’s house while she recuperated at home.

“Visiting my husband at Greater Noida from Noida itself was a task. I could go to see him only three times in 52 days because an auto-rickshaw would charge Rs 240-250 for a one-way trip and a similar or more amount for return. We cannot afford to pay Rs 600 just for travelling in a day,” she sighed.

Sharda Hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr Ashutosh Niranjan said Trimur also had a serious condition of pneumonia.

“His oxygen level was also very low when he was admitted and it was found during tests that had sugar issues too. However, a team of doctors kept him under their observation and he was on ICU and ventilator support for several days,” Niranjan said.

“After regular monitoring, medicines and administration of steroids, he was eventually removed off oxygen support and ultimately he recovered and got discharged,” the doctor said.

Sharda Hospital Chairman P K Gupta said the family has not been charged any money for the treatment. The family also confirmed this to PTI over the phone. Trimur’s has been the longest stay for any patient at the Sharda Hospital, a dedicated COVID-19 hospital partially taken over by the Uttar Pradesh government.

“There have only been a handful of patients who required hospitalisation for more than a month,” Sharda Hospital Director Personal Relations Ajit Kumar told PTI.

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