DIBRUGARH, April 16 - He had to bear the �stigmatization� of being a Tablighi Jamaat returnee, and being a 31-year-old man, that did not make him any happy. However, his family members in the sleepy Medo village near Tezu, headquarters of Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh, are happy that he is likely be released from hospital on Friday.
The first and lone COVID-19 patient of Arunachal Pradesh is currently asymptomatic, in good health and has a healthy appetite, complaining of no physical discomfort.
Two teams of medical personnel have been attending to the patient in the special isolation ward of the Tezu Zonal General Hospital since March 31. His COVID-19 test was declared positive by the Dibrugarh-based Regional Medical Research Centre, a unit of the ICMR, on April 2.
Meanwhile, the first medical team is now under mandatory isolation. After the patient�s release from hospital, the second team of medics will also go into isolation, District Medical Officer of Tezu, Dr S Chai Pul, said.
When asked, Dr Chai Pul told The Assam Tribune today that the patient was not given any major drugs. �We gave him broad spectrum multivitamins with better Vitamin C content,� she said, adding that he was given a diet with a lot of nuts like almonds.
Dr Chai Pul said that the patient was found COVID-19 negative as per the ICMR guidelines on Wednesday for the fourth time. This qualifies for his release from the hospital.
Meanwhile, the four family members of the patient, who had been kept under home isolation since March 31, have all tested negative, and the Health authorities have declared all of them safe for performing normal social activities.
Dr Chai Pul also said that the patient was provided an electric kettle, tea, salt and sugar. He was allowed to drink warm water and sip black tea.
Though the patient has not been on any drug therapy, he has recovered well enough in less than 20 days of hospitalisation. Many believe in private that warm saline gargles and dozens of cups of tea may have helped. Tea professionals have all along been eulogizing the curative properties of tea, both black and green. The magic element in tea is supposed to be polyphenols which have anti-viral properties. This property has been established during the containment research on SARS, which is also caused by a coronavirus. Veteran tea professional Saurabh Shankar states that tea has more than 200 medicinal properties, and that all of these are being documented systematically by scientists of the Tea Research Association at Tocklai in Jorhat district. He said that both green tea and black tea have medicinal properties that have been proved in the United Kingdom and China over the ages.
While the anti-coronavirus properties of tea are yet to be fully documented in any medical journal of repute, the tea planting community is now all the more inclined to better explore the medicinal properties of teas of the Brahmaputra Valley in particular. The results could be quite revealing.
Retired professor of tea husbandry at the AAU, Jorhat, Dr Swapon Baruah said that polyphenols in tea have high antioxidant properties which are known to inhibit cold and flu. He added that the pharmaceutical properties of tea have been fairly well-documented. Tea consumed in generous quantities with no milk and less sugar is always beneficial, he maintained. Dr Baruah pointed out that tea workers generally do not suffer from cold and flu, chiefly due to their consumption of black tea without sugar.