Krishnendu Banerjee (45), who doesn’t have any Covid symptoms, has isolated himself on a first-floor room with his ailing father and has opted for work from home while his wife, mother, son and a domestic help are living in their Howrah house even after contracting infection.
The sheer volume of Covid positive cases and the even greater number of people showing Covid-like symptoms have turned the concept of isolation on its head. Families now have Covid-negative people and those with no symptoms isolating themselves instead of the other way round.
“While on my way back home, I learnt my wife and brother had Covid symptoms. I asked to get themselves tested. My wife’s aunt stays with us also had mild symptoms. By the time I reached, my wife and brother had fever but were under medication. There was no point in myself getting infected as well and thus I isolated myself in a room to ensure others could have better accessibility in the house. Now while my family is getting better, I managed to keep ordering essentials and help my family while remaining in isolation myself. It has been a week, and my family will come out of isolation by Friday,” said Basu, a wedding and fashion photographer.
Similar has been the case for Howrah resident Banerjee, who too took care of the entire family down with Covid and Covid-like symptoms while staying in isolation himself. “As everyone started falling ill, I knew I had to remain fit to ensure there is someone to look after my father and also make sure he doesn’t contract the infection. I isolated both of us in a room on a separate floor and has so far managed to remain clean,” said Banerjee, who works at a private firm.
The state currently has 1.16 lakhs active cases with more than 22,000 new cases on Thursday. However, doctors feel an even larger number of residents are sick with Covid-like symptoms but they haven’t got themselves tested yet.
“I had fever, cough and cold, body ache and all other Covid symptoms last week and was left bedridden for at least two days. My son also had similar symptoms but we didn’t get us tested and had initially gone into isolation. But when my sister-in-law also started showing symptoms, we came out of isolation and my husband, who was the only one fit even now, moved into a room beside the kitchen and isolated himself. He has been cooking and taking care of us,” said Tanima Mondal, a Behala resident.
Doctors said they are also receiving a number of similar cases and are also advising the families to isolate negative members at present. “I have been treating a number of cases where out of six members in a family, four are positive while two are negative. In such situations, the standard instruction is to isolate the negative members of the family instead of positive patients to minimize the spread of infection,” said virologist Rahul Jain.