Abu Dhabi: Renowned Arabic actor Ibrahim Al Zadjali has recovered from coronavirus after undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Abu Dhabi over the last 20 days.
The fifty-year-old actor was admitted to VPS Burjeel Hospital with severe body pain and loss of appetite. The actor was later diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for COVID-19.
Zadjali, who is well-known for his performances in television series such as ‘Muftah Alqafel’ and ‘Kunna ‘ams’, had come to Abu Dhabi about two months ago to shoot two television series.
He is not sure how he contracted the virus, but believes he got it from one of the shooting locations as some of the other crew members had fallen sick.
The actor said he didn’t take it seriously as he showed no symptoms at first.
“I took rest for about a week in my room,” he said. “It was after that I began to feel unwell. My body was aching and there was a loss of appetite. I never suspected it to be COVID-19 and hence didn’t go to a hospital fearing the chance of an infection,” he said.
After a week, his body pain became so severe that the actor decided to consult a doctor.
At the hospital, his chest X-ray and CT scans showed that he had developed pneumonia.
Soon he was admitted, and his nasal and throat swabs were collected for a COVID-19 test.
Dr Rania Zein Eldein, Specialist Respiratory Medicine at Burjeel Hospital, who treated the actor said Ibrahim was admitted to the hospital on April 27.
“Upon medical investigations, it was found that he has developed pneumonia. So it was almost confirmed that he had been infected by COVID-19. We started medication soon without waiting for his test results. A few days later, his swab result came positive,” she said.
Though Zadjali seemed healthy, his condition worsened. He faced breathless as his oxygen saturation level went low.
“That was a frightening episode,” he said. “It was on the fourth day that I felt breathing difficulty. I was on medication. But it affected my morale and I became sad. But the doctor and nurses motivated me and helped to get rid of it.
“We put him in a prone position and advised him to do respiratory exercises. This helped him. So there was no need for oxygen support. He was very strong, patient, and positive during the period of hospitalisation,” added Dr Eldein
The actor was out of risk and healthy in a week. “That was a big relief. There were no symptoms anymore. But my test result had to come negative. I started doing exercise, reading Quran, and watching television to spend my day,” he said.
It took him one more week to get a negative result. “I am extremely grateful to Dr Rania, Dr Abbas Wahub Allah Abuelgasim, and the medical team at Burjeel Hospital for their great care and support. It would not have been easy for me without their encouragement and moral support. Particularly as my family was in Oman, and I was all alone in Abu Dhabi. It is indeed true that doctors and nurses are the real superheroes. They are doing a great service to humanity during the pandemic,” he said adding that the UAE government has set up an efficient system in place to deal with the unprecedented crisis.
He added that persons testing for COVID-19 should not panic and stay strong. “People shouldn’t ignore any symptoms during this time. My condition became worse as I avoided going to the hospital in the beginning. Also, persons once relieved from symptoms must start exercising on the advice of doctors. I used to exercise inside the isolation room and it had really helped me.”
Discharged on Friday after his swab test came negative consecutively for three times, Zadjali then travelled to his home in Oman where he will undergo quarantine for 14 days.