win_200313 kerala virus-1584102349399
Workers wearing protective suits outside the Special Isolation Ward of Coronavirus patients at Aluva government general hospital in Kochi on Thursday. Image Credit: ANI

Kottayam: A youth from Kerala who rushed from Doha on hearing that his father was in serious condition, was not able to see him for one last time after being admitted to the coronavirus isolation ward at the Kottayam Medical College - the same hospital where his father was being treated.

The youth (name withheld to protect his identity) from Doha got a call from his elder brother on March 7, informing that their father was admitted to hospital with internal bleeding after falling from the bed the previous night.

After getting permission from his workplace, the youth rushed home, landing in Kerala on the morning of March 8. However, after reaching Kottayam, he felt some irritation in his throat and voluntarily decided to get admitted in the isolation ward at the Kottayam Medical College, where his father was on ventilator.

That night, around 10.30pm, the father died after suffering a stroke. The youth, however, could not take a final look at his deceased father, as he was in the coronavirus isolation ward.

“So close, yet I could not see him one last time”, he wrote on social media.

Inspiration for others

In his post that starts with “Miss you, Achacha (father)”, the youth said he only wanted social media users to read his post, and not ‘like’ it. “It would be good if you could share to act as an inspiration for others, and I am writing this post because I am not in the right mental frame to do a live video”, he says.

“When I landed from Qatar my temperature was normal, I was using a mask and had taken care to keep a distance from people and not to touch anyone. Father was on ventilator and I did not go to see him. When I coughed and felt a catch in my throat I thought of my family members and people around me and decided to inform the coronavirus section,” he wrote.

Read more

“When my father passed away, I asked if it was possible to see him. I was told, ‘not in this condition’”, the youth recollected.

“It is frightening being so close and not being able to have a look,” he wrote in his post.

“The postmortem centre was in front of my isolation room. On March 10, when my father’s body was taken out in an ambulance, I could only stand looking from my window,” he said.

Last glimpse of father

The youth said he caught a final glimpse of his father on video call after the body reached home.

He penned some more lines to ensure that others would be as responsible as himself. “If I had not voluntarily reported, I could have seen my father. But I had decided not to put my family and others at risk,” he wrote.

Exhorting all NRIs to inform the nearest medical officer about their arrival, the youth advised them that a few days in isolation would give them many more days with their loved ones. He ended the note by saying that the “isolation ward is not a concentration camp”.