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COVID-19 | Sorry for bringing virus home, says Arunachal patient who returned from Nizamuddin

The man in early 20s and his family are being attacked on social media; He thinks he might not be welcome at Medo in Lohit district where he has been living for more than two decades

Arunachal Pradesh’s lone COVID-19 positive patient has said he feels sorry for unwittingly “bringing the virus home” and sad that he and his family were being attacked on social media.

He is worried that he might not be welcome at Medo in Lohit district in Arunachal Pradesh where he has been living for more than two decades. That for his family could mean relocating to the ancestral village of his father, a small-time building contractor, in Assam.

He is one of 32 people who tested positive for COVID-19 across the northeast, 29 of them linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event at Nizamuddin in Delhi last month.

“I am sorry for contracting the virus, bringing it home and putting everyone in trouble. I would not have come back had I known I had been infected,” the man in his early 20s told The Arunachal Times published from Itanagar.

Asymptomatic now

He spoke to the daily from the isolation ward of the zonal general hospital in Lohit district headquarters Tezu. He is currently asymptomatic, district health officials said.

“I did not believe the test result when it came positive, but now I am worried about my future. I might have to go back to Assam from where my father had come,” he said in reaction to vitriolic Facebook posts and photos of his family going viral.

One of his tribal friends took the photo of the members of his family when they were being taken to a quarantine facility. “I did not know he would leak it,” the daily quoted him as saying.

The man, who had dropped out of school and taken up menial jobs, said he had heard about people dying of the virus in China while he was in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor.

Also read: Lockdown triggers belated march of migrants from hills in Arunachal

“I did not know it would reach India. The next thing I know is I am in an isolation ward after having tested positive,” he said.

“Nobody wants to be ill. Certainly nobody wants a disease as contagious as the Coronavirus, and least of all be responsible for spreading it to his near and dear ones,” said the man.

He had been working at a jeans factory but left in February because of poor pay. He went to Bijnor and made some friends who were Tablighis. They motivated him to join the Nizamuddin congregation on March 15-16.

“I returned home in Medo on March 20.” A health department employee there advised him to go for a medical check-up and not to leave his house or meet anyone. His family was quarantined in a guesthouse after his swab sample was taken on March 31.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 11:17:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-sorry-for-bringing-virus-home-says-arunachal-patient-who-returned-from-nizamuddin/article31267639.ece

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