Amid all the despair and dread, here is a rare happy COVID-19 story. Wamiq Khan and his family of 16, from ages two to sixty, all tested positive for the infernal illness in Moradabad. Curiously, none of them had even mild symptoms.
On April 10 Moradabad administration identified Wamiq Khan’s brother as a potential carrier of the virus as he had been in close proximity of a person who tested positive.
The brother’s result came out positive and so all his family had to undergo the Coronavirus test. “We all tested positive one by one but none of us had any symptom at all. We all maintained normal health and didn’t feel that we ever contracted the virus,” says Khan.
It was a scary time. On April 14, three ambulances, more than two dozen police constables and some senior police and administrative officers descended on his house to take everyone to a quarantine home. “It looked like the house had turned into a police station. The whole colony was in a panic. But everyone was very supportive,” says Khan.
The family remained in quarantine in IFTM University in Moradabad city, two to a room, for three days till their results came out. As they all tested positive, they were transferred one by one into the isolation wards in Teerthanker Mahaveer University (TMU). “It was badly managed there. One room had ten patients from different families. Those whose second test came negative had to spend time with positive patients till their third test result also came negative,” says Khan.
The fact that none of the sixteen family members had any of the symptoms like fever or breathlessness made the medical staff lax. “We didn’t get a single doctor to check our fever or give any medicine. It is only through the test reports we came to know if we were positive or negative.”
Rajiv Ranjan, a doctor in the Lab Medicine department in AIIMS, Delhi says that it is an asymptomatic case where a patient carries the virus but doesn’t show any symptom. “I think the degree of infection was low. But why it didn’t aggravate on any family member, especially with such a vast age difference when each member would have different levels of immunity, is a matter of further study,” says Ranjan.
Finally, on May 1, after the required tests, all the 16 members of Wamiq Khan’s family were declared healthy. Khan’s tip to others: “Take precaution against COVID-19 but don’t panic even if you test positive.”