The UAE government has kept on reiterating the importance of social distancing as thy tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus. What had happened with Dubai-based Filipino Jade Jacqueline Chan-De Los Trinos was she missed this very important measure and got tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The sales regional manager, 32, told The Global Filipino Magazine, that she immediately went to a private hospital from work after she was informed that one of her housemates came out positive for the disease.
She got her test result on April 24, four days after the test was done.
“The hospital tests walk-in patients who are in close contact with people who tested positive for the virus without the need of a prior appointment,” she said, adding that she didn’t have any symptoms until after a few days while waiting for the result.
De Los Trinos said that her husband had tested positive for the virus as well. She was uncertain where they get the virus since they have a housemate who got tested positive, and she works for a manufacturer of diagnostic kits and supplies to labs and hospitals, in which her job responsibilities include reporting daily and her husband works for an FMCG company that caters to hypermarkets.
“I and my husband are both potentially at high-risk due to exposure but since we have a housemate positive for Covid-19, it’s quite difficult to assume from where we really contracted the virus,” she added.
As soon as the results came out, she immediately called the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and requested to be picked up from a shared flat.
“I’ve elaborated on the living condition we have and isolation would be difficult especially we share common areas at home. I and my husband were fetched from home in the evening by an ambulance a week after I called the DHA. They decide which hospital to take us,” De Los Trinos said.
Now fully recovered, she said that she had spent 10 days in the hospital as she showed severe symptoms and needed further medical attention. Afterward, she was offered to stay in a hotel in case she was not comfortable staying at home for another week of isolation.
“The medical services are outstanding. I had full sumptuous meals though I completely lost my appetite, taste, and smell all throughout my hospitalization which is a few of my Covid-19 struggles. The hospital provided toiletries, temperature and BP were checked religiously, did a fecal test, X-ray, and blood tests for hematology and chemistry examination,” she added.
During the treatment, she was asked to take two types of medicines every after eight hours. She was also on IV due to high fever, nausea, dehydration and low blood pressure due to diarrhea.
Following strict protocols, during her battle against the deadly virus, her husband was not even permitted to visit her although he was just next door. The hospital is fully-equipped with a television with cable channels and fast internet access to ease the patients loneliness and anxiety.
Accommodating nurses and doctors
“The doctors and nurses are very accessible, accommodating and genuine. I commend the doctors who were extremely friendly, helped me relax and lessen my fear,” she said when asked to describe the medical team that looked after her.
She recalled having an intolerable headache and nausea and a full medical team was quickly responded while calming her down as she was on the verge of panicking.
“They were attentive not only with my medical needs but also with my mental state since I was having a sort of desolation and confusion. The nurses were courteous, punctual with their rounds while doctors explained my condition thoroughly. They are true professionals,” she added.
Advice for ‘kabayans’
Her advice for Filipinos in the UAE, especially those downplaying the situation, is to treat the pandemic as a serious matter.
“It was beyond my imagery to be a victim of Covid-19 even at immense caution. I was confident that I will get enough protection by handwashing and wearing mask but I realized I was missing the social distancing measures, a mistake that almost costed our lives,” De Los Trinos said.
“I am not here to scare but to shed awareness that whatever authorities have told us (may it be in UAE or in the Philippines), is for our own sake,” she added.
Few of her pieces of advice to her kabayans include lessening of trips to densely-populated areas such as groceries and avoiding non-essential gatherings.
“Let us be responsible not only for oneself but for others who are immune-compromised. Sharing accommodation is a common scenario, chat with housemates at an ample distance and wear mask, follow the Happy Birthday handwash rule,” she added.
De Los Trinos further added that through the right knowledge, discipline, a positive mindset, words of encouragement, faith, and prayers, the world will surpass this phase.