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Loss of smell, taste: Coronavirus survivor Diya Naidu’s story

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Bengaluru, Apr 01: In March choreographer Diya Naidu from Bengaluru went public with her COVID-19 infection, saying that her throat swab test confirmed it and she was awaiting the blood test result.

She had returned from Switzerland on March 9 and was admitted to the isolation ward of the ESI hospital Indiranagar. On her Facebook, she had posted, "I am sorry to do this here. The BBMP is supposed to but seeing how unprepared we are I'm trying to make sure. I have tested positive for Covid-19 and am in hospital currently. I was barely symptomatic... In case you have come into contact with me or someone who has met me - please quarantine yourself."

Loss of smell, taste: Coronavirus survivor Diya Naidu’s story

"The only thing I got was total loss of smell - no cough or cold or fever or shivering - none of the typical symptoms yet," she also said.

Diya spoke with R J Jimmy of Radio Mirchi about her ordeal and also heaped praises on the authorities and medical staff, who she said were doing an exception job.

#Stayathome and send us your selfie

Excerpts from the interview:

I have been quite asymptomatic. I had no cough or cold or fever or shivering. It was a complete loss of smell and taste.

While in isolation it does not feel like a space station. In isolation you tend to have headaches.

Initially the communication was not clear and I did not know what was going on. In the next few days, the authorities got their act together. There would be someone from the BBMP or the area medical officer who would call. They were empathetic, calm and gave as much information as possible, Diya says.

In my experience, I had no cough or cold. I was given paracetamol. Primarily there were antibiotics given to prevent a secondary infection. They basically do like a preventive treatment and then treat symptoms.

You can listen to the full interview here:

When I came back to India from Switzerland, there were no quarantine norms. The country which I came back from was not on the list. After I returned, I called the numbers that were displayed at the airport. I did not get any response. Then I decided to get tested. Five days later I could not smell or taste. Many doctors had told me that this was not a symptom.

The hospital then told me that many countries had been added to the list and now I could get myself tested.

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Explaining how it is like to be in isolation, Diya says none can visit you at this time. There is no nurse around too. If you need something you have to call. You are kept away for a good reason. The staff at the hospital are completely in gear. Earlier, it was not there.

Now they are completely organised. With all the protective gear, they look like astronauts, Diya also says.

Explaining the tracking system of the government, she says it is unbelievably stringent. The authorities have traced and tracked everyone who has been in contact with me. This includes the place where I purchased my grocery or even the cab that I travelled in. All the primary contacts are now in home quarantine. The authorities have been very empathetic and kind about it. The grocery shop was shut down. The authorities through the CCTVs looked everywhere where I was.

Diya advises that all we can do is stay at home. Listen to the authorities and let them do their job. The medical staff face a terrible stigma, but they are our super heroes. Wash your hands, practise social distancing and stay at home she says.

We need to support and help the government. Caste, creed, religion does no matter. All are involved in this fight. We have to be present, vigilant and one wrong step can make it all go horribly wrong, she also says.

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