Abu Dhabi: Zayed Al Alawi is doing well now. Having beaten the coronavirus last month, the Emirati businessman in the capital is in high spirits.
And he has a strong message for residents: ‘if you feel the symptoms of COVID-19, don’t hesitate to seek medical help.’
“I first started feeling unwell in the second week of April,” the 47-year-old told Gulf News. “I was running a low temperature and had difficulty breathing. I thought it was something normal because I have asthma and diabetes, but I kept to myself and checked with a doctor.
“Eventually, I was diagnosed with COVID-19 when I went to the doctor on April 23. So I want to tell fellow residents not to be hesitant about seeking medical assistance, especially during these difficult times,” he said.
On his part, Al Alawi stayed home as soon as he started feeling unwell.
“To be honest, I simply wanted to rest all the time and didn’t have enough energy for human contact. Thinking back, I have no idea how I contracted the virus either,” he explained.
When he eventually sought treatment, Al Alawi was admitted for a week at Al Mafraq Hospital, a public facility in Abu Dhabi. His wife and two-year-old daughter stayed on at their home; both have tested negative for the coronavirus.
“I needed medicines, including antibiotics, during my hospital stay. The staff also kept a close watch on my blood sugar and pressure, because I am diabetic and hypertensive,” he explained.
“Now, everything feels great again and I am as strong as a horse, as they say. And having come out of this experience, I want to urge everyone who feels unwell to report their symptoms, especially so that they don’t infect those around them,” he said.
UAE official directives allow asymptomatic and mildly affected COVID-19 patients to stay home or opt for a hotel quarantine. But extra caution is taken when the patient has comorbidities like diabetes, as in Al Alawi’s case.
This caution continues even after a patient is discharged.
Al Alawi came home on April 30, but has received visits from medical professionals about once every three days.
“During every visit, the medical team checks me for coronavirus. They also bring over additional hand gloves and face masks, which is a very nice gesture,” he said.