A Scaryammi intern shares her experience of being tested for Covid-19.

As the panic takes over Pakistan due to coronavirus everyone is at the edge of their seat with what’s to come next. The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the common flu such as fever, cough and a runny nose. This can be hard to differentiate as due to the weather many people are getting a cold which some can mistake for the new Covid-19. I, myself was one of those.

Last week, I started developing a cough and body aches. In the back of my mind, I knew it was just the seasonal flu however I was hesitant as I was interacting with a few people on a daily basis and did not want anyone to contract anything from me.  As a few days passed my cough became worse. Knowing how contagious this virus is, I decided to take all the safety measures necessary for myself and others around me. I called Dr Omar Chugtai as I am a LAS alumni and told him that I needed to get tested as soon as possible.

In about an hour, the Chugtai lab people showed up at my house to carry out the test. They were fully equipped and professionally trained for it.  They took my nasal swab which was a bit painful and told me the result would come in 36-48 hours.  As the countdown started, I learnt that a friend of my friend got tested and the result came positive however instead of mentioning it to her family. The Chugtai lab directed her results to the health minister and in about an hour there were two police cars and ambulances outside her house to take her to Ganga Ram Hospital. I also learnt that the hospitals in Lahore are not ready for coronavirus patients and she was sent home by the two hospitals. However due to the media backlash and her house showing on the tv they moved her to a hospital in phase 8 that hardly has any system going on.

It frightened me that this could be me if the test came back positive. Hearing ambulance sirens around my house, my anxiety went over the roof. The test result came at 1:15 am in the middle of the night. I knew it was either a negative or police showing up outside my house. Luckily, the test was negative and a sense of relief lingered in the air. I realized I needed to take precautions so my family and I decided to self isolate ourselves for the time being.

Aymen Nadeem

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