'Doctor, will I die from coronavirus?' Lady doctor recounts her encounters in isolation rooms


Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – Hundreds of thousands of health workers, including doctors and paramedical staff, are battling around the clock to contain the coronavirus outbreak across the world.

They are spending sleepless nights and even risking their own lives in order to save those who are infected with the deadly virus as well as those who are admitted to isolation rooms of hospitals for showing symptoms of the pandemic.

While dealing with actual patients and suspected ones of all age groups and having diverse personality traits, they gain unique and diverse experiences. They also struggle to reduce the anxieties and the fears of those living in medical isolation. Dr. Nour Al-Jarbaa, a doctor at a health facility in the Kingdom, is one among them.

“Doctor, will I die from coronavirus?” — this is the most often repeated query from the patients, says Al-Jarbaa. “We are struggling to soothe their disturbed feelings, with reassuring them that there is no need for worries as we are offering them the best possible treatment. This helps reduce their anxieties and makes them sleep better,” she said.

Al-Jarbaa said she and her colleagues met a number of people infected with the virus coming from Kuwait and Bahrain and they were isolated. “We took samples from them and sent some of them home who tested negative, while some others remained in isolation despite the absence of symptoms ,” she said adding that whoever tested positive was quarantine straight away.

Al-Jarbaa says most patients are unaware of the disease even though they contracted it through contact. “The infected people differ from one another in receiving the news as some of them at first refuse and then accept their condition and agree for treatment.”

Al-Jarbaa pointed out that the treatment starts with antibiotics. “The response was excellent when we started with antibiotics for malaria.” She also recalled the story of one of her patients. “A young man booked an appointment due to the symptoms of Corona and was referred for isolation.

When I examined him and talked to him about his medical history, it became clear that he was living in an apartment alone. He had a takeaway meal the day before, and after eating he developed symptoms of high body temperature with diarrhea and sore throat.

I took samples because he traveled a week ago, and I told him that he was suffering most probably from food poisoning and there is nothing to worry. He asked me to reassure his mother as she was very much worried about his condition. When the medical test result came, it was found that he was not infected with the virus.

Al-Jarbaa also recounted the experience of encountering with another young man who came screaming and asking to see the doctor immediately. “It became clear that he was not suffering from the disease, and so he left for his home in a calm and composed demeanor,” she added.